The Internal Revenue Service is making a pitch about the Advance Child Tax Credit payments that smacks of the spiel for sale pricing from used car dealers: “When it’s gone, it’s gone!”
The IRS—thankfully minus the loud plaid sport coat—says after November 29, taxpayers won’t be able to post any changes in their income and get a larger payment on December 15, the last scheduled payment in 2021.
Any income updates must be posted through the Child Tax Credit Update Portal (CTC-UP) by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on November 29 to be included in the December payment.
The portal can be accessed at IRS.gov/childtaxcredit2021.
The IRS also had good news for Spanish speakers this week, launching a Spanish-language version of the CTC-UP that helps more families update their income figures ahead of the last remaining advance payment.
Advance payments of the CTC were made possible by the American Rescue Plan. Most qualifying families started getting their advance payments in July.
Eligible families could get advance payments of up to $300 monthly for each child under the age of 6, and up to $250 per month for each child between the ages of 6 and 17.
Payments were based on 2019 or 2020 filed returns, although some recipients registered online through the Child Tax Credit Update Portal to qualify. The CTC-UP was pivotal, allowing taxpayers to verify the qualifications for the credit, but also gave them the ability to perform other actions:
- Switch from receiving a paper check to direct deposit;
- Change the account where their payment is direct deposited;
- Update their mailing address;
- Stop monthly payments and
- Report significant changes in their income that could potentially raise or lower their monthly payments.
The advance payments, however, are only half the Child Tax Credit story. The advance payments amount to only half of the total credit amount for any taxpayer. The taxpayer receives the remaining half of the credit when they file their 2021 income tax return next year.
Families who got advance payments of the CTC in 2021 will also receive Letter 6419 early next year, documenting the advance payments they received in 2021 and the number of qualifying children they reported to figure their advance payments.
What’s on tap for 2022?
Advance payment of the Child Tax Credit may not be on the table for next year, but that doesn’t mean the credit will be out of reach of deserving taxpayers.
The IRS says eligible families—whether they typically file a return or not—will be able to receive a lump-sum payment of the CTC once they file a 2021 return next year.
To that end, the agency is encouraging its industry partners and community groups to share information and to use available online tools to help low-income families, non-filers and other underserved groups learn about the benefits of the Child Tax Credit and how to sign up.
Links to these online tools, answers to frequently asked questions and other resources can be found on the IRS’ special advance CTC 2021 page.