The IRS Needs to Get the Child Tax Credit Payments Out Securely

The IRS Needs to Get the Child Tax Credit Payments Out Securely

That's what is for. 


On Thursday, the first payments within the newly expanded Child Tax Credit were sent out. Each payment is worth between $250 and $300 per child, depending on the child’s age; children aged six and older receive the smaller payment, while those aged five and younger get the larger payment.

However, one red flag that has been raised is that the IRS’s information can sometimes be out of date. If a child turns six prior to the first Child Tax Credit, the IRS will not learn about it until a family files their taxes in April 2022. This means that, from now until December, that family will have been overpaid $300 by the IRS—and, come the end of the year, the IRS will want that money back.


To resolve problems like these, it is possible to update your information through an IRS-linked website called Having an account on this site allows people to sign in to the IRS’s two web portals, check the status of their payments, and update their information as necessary. Recipients can also opt out of the advance payments to get a larger sum as a tax rebate in April, if they prefer. (Because the first credit check has already been sent out, it is too late to opt out of it. The opt-out deadline for the second check, however, is on August 2.)

The account is used by various government agencies, including the IRS, the Treasury Department, and the Social Security Administration. It is primarily used as an identification service, to verify that a person is who he or she claims to be. Once a person is verified, they can use the same login information across any site that utilizes

Note that you do not need to use if you have a pre-existing IRS account, possibly from an earlier tax issue. Going forward, however, the IRS is only using, as it is considered safer.

To get started, applicants need to enter their Social Security number and upload a picture of a photo ID. Fortunately, the actual process of enrolling is quite simple. On the Child Tax Credit Update Portal, there is an option allowing people to unenroll from the advance payments. If this is clicked, a link is provided to the creation site. After entering an email address and password, uploading information, and setting up two-factor authentication, applicants are free to make any changes possible on the IRS website—including both unenrolling from the payments and updating the IRS’s information, so as not to be overpaid in the summer and fall of 2021.

Trevor Filseth is a current and foreign affairs writer for The National Interest.

Image: Reuters