IRS child tax credit update portal: Use it to opt out, check payment status and more

The second advance payment of the child tax credit for up to $300 per child went out to millions of eligible families on Aug. 13. The IRS reports that some families who have direct deposit will still get their August payment by paper check, which takes a bit longer to arrive. By using the the Update Portal, you can see how your money will be coming to you and get some clues if you’re worried about missing a check. To use the portal, you’ll need to take some time to create an account.

The IRS child tax credit Update Portal is not only key to reviewing your payment history online if your check is delayed. It also lets you and unenroll from future monthly payments through December and check to see if your banking info is up-to-date. By late summer, you can use it to amend the number of dependents you have, your marital status and your income. Informing the IRS of those household changes will help guarantee that your family is getting the right amount of the child tax credit.

Updating your family’s details is also important so the IRS doesn’t send an overpayment, which could then negatively affect your taxes next spring. Between now and 2022, you can get a total of up to $3,600 for each kid. If your family prefers a larger payout later instead of the partial monthly payments upfront, we’ll tell you how to unenroll. We’ll also explain what to know about a separate portal designed for low-income families to register for payments. We’ve updated this story.

What is the IRS Update Portal? What other online tools are available?

Most families who qualify for the expanded credit don’t need to take any action if they want the advance payments this year. If you already filed a 2019 or 2020 federal income tax return (or used the nonfiler tool in 2020 to register for a stimulus payment), you’ll get the credit automatically. And the credit is nonrefundable, so you don’t need income to get it.

The online tools are useful for a variety of reasons. Here’s how they help parents with eligible dependents:

  • The Child Tax Credit Update Portal lets you verify that your family qualifies for the credit and opt out of receiving any payments in 2021. You can use it now to view your payment history (including if the money is coming by paper check or through direct deposit) and provide the IRS with your bank details.
  • A nonfiler portal lets you provide the IRS with basic information about yourself and your dependents if you normally aren’t required to file a tax return. The tool is intended to help low-income households register for the payments.
  • The Child Tax Credit Eligibility Assistant can help you determine whether you qualify for the advance child tax credit payments. The interactive tool is now available in Spanish and other languages.

What other toolkits and resources are available now? The IRS regularly updates its child tax credit FAQ page and has a PDF with details on the portals. The White House has launched a website for the child tax credit that provides information for families, details about eligibility and more downloadable information…Read more>>