IRS online tool helps families determine if they qualify for the child tax credit


The IRS urges families to use a special online tool, available only on IRS.gov, to help them determine whether they qualify for the child tax credit and the special monthly advance payments beginning July 15.

The Child Tax Credit Eligibility Assistant is interactive and easy to use. By answering a series of questions about themselves and their family members, a parent or other family member can quickly determine whether they qualify for the credit. This tool is available in Spanish.

This tool may be particularly useful to families who don't normally file a federal tax return and have not yet filed a 2019 or 2020 tax return. Often, these are people who receive little or no income, including those experiencing homelessness, low-income households and other underserved groups. This tool can help them decide whether they should take the next step and register for the advance child tax credit payments.

The Child Tax Credit Eligibility Assistant does not request any personally-identifiable information for any family member. For this reason, its results are not an official IRS determination. The results are reliable, though people should consider the results preliminary, even if all their answers are accurate. The IRS does not keep the answers the user supplies, or the tool’s results.

To help people understand and receive this benefit, the IRS has created a special Advance Child Tax Credit 2021 page on IRS.gov. This page provides the most up-to-date information about the credit and the advance payments. Among other things, the page already features a link to both the Non-filer Sign-up Tool, and the Child Tax Credit Eligibility Assistant, along with the Child Tax Credit Update Portal.


If eligible, the Non-filer Sign-up Tool is available for those who don't normally file tax returns.

The online Non-filer Sign-up Tool helps eligible families who don't normally file tax returns register for the monthly advance child tax credit payments. It offers a free and easy way for eligible people who don't normally have to file taxes to provide the IRS the basic information needed – name, address, and Social Security numbers – to figure and issue advance child tax credit payments.

This tool is also helps eligible individuals who don't normally file tax returns register for the $1,400 third round of Economic Impact Payments, also known as stimulus checks, and claim the recovery rebate credit for any amount of the first two rounds of Economic Impact Payments they may have missed.

No action needed by most other families.

Eligible families who already filed or plan to file 2019 or 2020 income tax returns or used the Non-filer tool during 2020 to sign up for the Economic Impact Payments, should not use the Non-filer Sign-up Tool. Once the IRS processes their 2019 or 2020 tax return, the information will be used to determine eligibility and issue advance payments. These families do not need to do anything else to get their payments.

Here's who should not use this tool. Families who want to claim other tax benefits, such as the earned income tax credit should not use the Non-Filer Sign-up tool. They should file a regular tax return. For them, the fastest and easiest way to file a return is the Free File system, available only on IRS.gov.

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