If You Don’t File Tax Returns, You Need to Use This Tool to Get Your Child Tax Credit

Children are brushing their teeth in the bathroom at home.
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Typically, the child tax credit is only available to those who have earned income. However, as part of the temporary expansion of the credit under the American Families Plan stimulus relief bill, you can now receive it regardless of whether you held a job or filed a tax return.

See: How Do You Plan to Spend the Child Tax Credit? Take Our PollFind: Child Tax Credit Payment Schedule Is Out Now – Here’s When You’ll Get Your Money

To help you claim this money, the IRS has set up a special Non-Filer Sign-up Tool for all eligible families to register for the advance child tax credit. You will need to input your personal information such as date of birth, Social Security number, mailing address, bank routing and account numbers, income, if any, and number of qualifying dependents. For those who do not have a bank account, debit cards will eventually be mailed out and loaded with the amount of each monthly benefit, but the IRS has not yet released a payment schedule for these and has stated that the cards will arrive later than the direct deposit disbursements.

The full amount of the credit will be $3,000 for each child age six to 17 and $3,600 for each child under six, paid out in two installments. The first is set to be distributed as $250 or $300 monthly payments beginning July 15 and lasting through December, amounting to $1,500 or $1,800, which is half of the full benefit. You’ll claim the other $1,500 or $1,800 during tax time next year.

Families with full-time college students ages 18 to 24 receive a one-time $500 credit per student for up to two students, for a total one-time credit of $1,000.

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The income threshold is $75,000 for the full benefit amount for single filers and $150,000 for joint filers.

Non-filers and low-income families can use the non-filer tool to report your qualifying children born before 2021 if you:

  • Are not required to file a 2020 tax return, don’t file one and don’t plan to; and
  • Have a main home in the United States for more than 6 months a year

In addition, if you did not receive the full amount of the first and second stimulus checks, you can also use this portal if you are not required to file a 2020 tax return, didn’t file and do not plan to but want to claim the 2020 recovery rebate credit and get your third stimulus check.

See: How to Avoid Paying Back the Child Tax Credit
Find: Experts Weigh In on if You Should Give Kids an Allowance

The IRS stresses that you should NOT use this portal if you:

  • Filed or plan to file a 2020 tax return; or
  • Claimed all your dependents on a 2019 tax return, including by reporting their information in 2020 using the Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here tool; or
  • Were married at the end of 2020 unless you use the tool with your spouse and include your spouse’s information; or
  • Are a resident of a U.S. territory; or
  • Do not have a main home in the United States for more than half the year and, if you are married, your spouse does not have a main home in the United States for more than half the year; or
  • Do not have a qualifying child who was born before 2021 and had a Social Security number issued before May 17, 2021.
Make Your Money Work for You

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The Free Non-Filer Sign-up Tool can be accessed on the FreeFile website.

Once you input your information, the IRS will automatically determine your eligibility and issue the advance payments based on the information you provide. After the IRS determines you’re eligible, you will not need to do anything further to receive the payments.

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