How To Use the IRS Child Tax Credit Portal

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The Child Tax Credit Portal was specially created to manage the expanded benefits given as advance payments to taxpayers. However, some parents may still encounter problems navigating the portal, especially for non-filers. Below is a comprehensive guide on how to use the online tool prepared by the Internal Revenue System (IRS).

First, taxpayers and non-filers will need to create an account on the Child Tax Credit Portal, where there should be a "Manage Advance Payment" button in blue. Clicking on this button will redirect the user to the login page.

However, if a taxpayer has filed tax returns for 2019 or 2020, the portal access should be automatic since there is an existing IRS account. For non-filers and taxpayers who have no current record with the IRS, signing up to the portal takes 20 to 30 minutes because forms and details needed by the IRS have to be completed.

After registering an email address and password and getting the necessary confirmation to secure the account, users will have to enter their mobile phone number and submit a photo of their government ID or driver's license. These details are important for identity verification.

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It will help to input a mobile phone number when completing the sign-up since any verification or confirmation would be coursed through this device. It will also help to use a computer with a working camera because the IRS will require real-time scanning of the user's face.

Once the verification and authentication process is finished, on both phone and the computer, the IRS Portal will then ask the user to input their full name, birthday, mailing address, Social Security Number, or ITIN. This completes the profile creation.

Navigating the Portal

After the profile creation, the user will be redirected to the main portal to check for eligibility and other details. There should be a box saying "Eligibility" and two choices -- "Yes" and "No. You will not receive advance payments."

In most cases, ineligibility may apply to taxpayers whose income exceeds the limitations defined by their modified adjusted gross income (MAGI). Phaseout of the child tax credit applies to income earners with a MAGI greater than $200,000. Other factors that may affect ineligibility are citizenship, residency, or the age of the dependents.

However, if a taxpayer is eligible, they should find a second box under "Eligibility" that says "Status." This will indicate if the taxpayer will get a direct deposit payment through their nominated bank account or payment through the mail via the user's given address.

To update bank details or the postal address, look for the link or button that says "Your Profile" and make the necessary changes from there. Ensure that details are saved before closing the portal. "Your Profile" section is also where taxpayers have to update their dependents if they have a new baby.

Under "Status" is "Payments," which details all the processed credits to date. If you're unsure of the amount reflected in the portal, there's also a clickable link on how the money has been calculated above the table.

Unenrolling from Child Tax Credit

In the last section of the portal is another blue button indicating "Unenroll from Payments" for taxpayers who prefer not to get the monthly credit this year and will instead wait for the lumpsum in April 2022, during the tax season.

Unenrolling applies per taxpayer, so for married joint filers, both spouses will have to opt out of the program. Otherwise, if one spouse has not done this, the IRS will still send half of the payment.

The IRS said that updates to the portal would be rolled out by September, which will provide more features to make managing payments easier. To keep abreast of these changes or learn more about using the portal, check the IRS FAQ page.

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