How to use the IRS Child Tax Credit Update Portal (CTC UP)
Use CTC UP to check eligibility for advance payments, get information about monthly payment amounts, or opt-out of advance payments.

Families eligible for the expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC) don’t have to wait until they file their taxes in 2022 to start getting payments. Parents and relative caregivers can get up to $3,600 per child for tax year 2021 from the new CTC. You will get half of this money in 2021 as an advance payment and the other half in 2022 when you file a tax return.

If you want to check your eligibility for advance payments, get information about your monthly payment amounts, or opt-out of advance payments, use the IRS Child Tax Credit Update Portal (CTC UP) to manage your advance payments.

If you haven’t and are not required to file a full 2020 tax return, you can still get advance payments. Even if you don’t owe taxes or don’t have recent income, you can still get the full amount of this tax credit. Use this guide to fill out the IRS Non-filer tool to get the advance CTC or missed stimulus checks.

You’ll need to create an account to access the CTC Portal. This guide will cover two parts:

Skip to Part 2 if you already have an account.

Part 1: Creating an account to access the Child Tax Credit Portal

Creating an account for the CTC UP portal takes 20-30 minutes to complete if you have everything listed below.

You will need:

  • Photo identification: Driver’s license, State ID, Passport, or Passport Card
  • A computer and cell phone with access to the internet: You will need both a computer and a cell phone to create an account.
  • Full legal name
  • Your SSN or ITIN

Step 1: Visit the IRS website to access the Child Tax Credit Update Portal

Go to https://www.irs.gov/credits-deductions/child-tax-credit-update-portal.

Click the blue “Manage Advance Payments” button.

You will be taken to this page: https://sa.www4.irs.gov/secureaccess/ui/?TYPE=33554433&REALMOID=06-0005eaac-e22a-10b8-928e-7c2b0ad00000&GUID=&SMAUTHREASON=0&METHOD=GET&SMAGENTNAME=-SM-u0ktItgVFneUJDzkQ7tjvLYXyclDooCJJ7%2bjXGjg3YC5id2x9riHE98hoVgd1BBv&TARGET=-SM-http%3a%2f%2fsa%2ewww4%2eirs%2egov%2fctc%2f.

Step 2: Create an account

IF YOU ALREADY HAVE AN IRS ACCOUNT, SKIP TO INSTRUCTIONS FOR ACCESSING THE CTC PORTAL.

If you have created an IRS account before to view information from previous tax returns, including the amount received for stimulus checks, you can sign in with your existing IRS username. If you don’t have an existing IRS username, you will need to create a new account.

Click the “ID.me: Create an account” button (image above). You will be taken to a new page.

Optional Step: Change the form to Spanish

If you prefer to complete the form in Spanish, scroll to the bottom of this page and click the word “English” in blue. From the drop-down menu, click the word “Español” in blue.

 

These instructions are for creating an account in English.

Step 3: Fill out the information to create an account

You will need:

  • Email address: Use an email address that you have access to. If you don’t have an email address or don’t remember or have the password to your account, you can create a new email address for free through a website like GmailYahoo! Mail, or AOL. You will need to check your inbox to confirm your email address to successfully create an account.
  • Password: requires both upper- and lower-case letters, 8 characters, and a number. Choose a phrase that you can remember or write down your password in a secure place.

Check the box “I accept the ID.me Terms of Service and Privacy Policy” after reviewing the links. Then click the blue “Create an ID.me account.”

FYI, here's a summary of what you're agreeing to:

Terms of Service

  • You are 18 years old or older
  • Your identity matches the identity you claim while using ID.me
  • All information provided by you is complete and correct
  • You are affiliated with the groups that you attach to your ID.me account
  • Only you can use your ID.me account to verify your identity
  • You can help another person verify their identity only with their consent
  • You authorize your phone company (AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, etc.) to disclose your mobile number, name, address, email, and other personal information for the purpose of verifying your identity.
  • ID.me may suspend, revoke, or terminate your account for any reason or for no reason and without notice.
  • ID.me does not charge users any fees for registering and/or using its services
  • You must first try to resolve any complaint or dispute with ID.me through its Notice of Dispute process. If an agreement cannot be reached, an arbitration processing or small claims action can be initiated. By agreeing to arbitrate, you are giving up the right to litigate except in small claims court.

Privacy Policy

  • ID.me may provide your personal information to a third party to verify your identity and validate your account
  • You choose what specific information is tied to your ID.me account and at any time, can revoke ID.me’s access to your information
  • ID.me collects three types of information: Personally Identifiable Information, Sensitive Information, and Non-Personally Identifiable Information
  • Personally Identifiable Information and Sensitive Information is not collected without your consent.
  • ID.me will not share, sell, rent, or trade your Personally Identifiable Information or Sensitive Information with other parties, except to verify your identity and eligibility or to comply with the law
  • You can access and edit your Personally Identifiable Information and Sensitive Information
  • You can opt-out of promotional emails, but you cannot opt out of administrative emails

Step 4: Confirm your email address

You will be sent an email from the sender “ID.me” with the subject line “Welcome to ID.me” (shown below). Click the blue “Confirm” button to confirm your email address. When you see the confirmation screen (below), click the blue “Continue” button.

Step 5: Secure your account

After clicking the blue “Continue” button, you will be asked to secure your account. There will be five options to secure your account.

For this guide, to secure your account, we will use the first option. Press the blue “Select” button for “Text Message or Phone Call.”

Step 6: Enter your phone number

Enter your phone number. You can choose whether to receive the security code by text message or phone call.

This guide uses the texting option.

  

Step 7: Use the security code sent to your phone to secure your account

You will receive a text message like this on your phone:

Enter the code in your text message onto the computer screen. Then press the blue “Continue” button. Your account is now secure!

 

You will be sent an email from the sender “ID.me” with the subject line “You have enabled multi-factor authentication.” The message will look like this:

Optional Step: Create a recovery code
You can also create a recovery code in case you lose access to your phone and can’t receive the code you need to access your account. Click the “Generate recovery code” button.

 

Safely save your recovery code. You will need this to access your IRS account if you lose your phone.

Press the blue “Continue” button to move onto the next step.

Step 8: Verify your identity

To verify your identity, you can use your:

  • Driver’s license or State ID or
  • Passport or
  • Passport card

AND

  • SSN or ITIN

This guide uses the option to “Upload photos of your license or state ID”. You will be taken to this page:

 

Check the box “I acknowledge that I have received, read, and agree to the terms of the ID.me Biometric Information Privacy Policy.” Then click the blue “Continue” button.

FYI, here's a summary of what you're agreeing to:
  • You have the option to withdraw or revoke your consent to use the use of your Biometric Data by emailing privacy@id.me. ID.me may decline your request under certain exceptions.
  • You can decline to provide your Biometric Data.
  • ID.me may collect two types of Biometric Data. Facial Biometrics: Photos on forms of identification (e.g. driver’s license, employee badge, student identification card, military identification card), “selfie” photographs, video “selfies” for liveness detection. Voiceprints: Voice recordings
  • Your Biometric Data is used to verify your identity, authenticate use of your account for a transaction, prevent fraud, comply with request from law enforcement or government entities, such as the IRS.
  • ID.me does not sell, lease, or trade your Biometric Data.

Step 9A: Verify your identity by either computer or phone

After you press the blue “Continue” button, you will be taken to the “Verify Your Identity” page.

You have two options. You can verify using your computer or phone. These instructions focus on the phone option.

Choose the blue “Take a photo with my device” button. Be sure that your cell phone has a camera and access to the Internet. This option requires you to use both your computer and your phone. For the following steps, this guide will let you know when to use your computer or your phone.

Step 9B: Enter your phone number

You will be taken to this computer page where you will need to enter your phone number.

Enter in your phone number and press the blue “Continue” button. You will see the following screen on your computer:

 

Step 9C: Upload your photos using your phone

You will receive this text message to your phone. Click on the link at the end of the text message to upload photos of your driver’s license or state ID. You can only click the link once and it expires after 5 minutes.

On your phone, you will be taken to a website. Have your driver’s license or state ID ready to photograph. When you’re ready, click the blue “I’m ready to take a photo” button.

On the next page, click the blue box “Choose photo of your driver’s license or state ID.”

   

Then, you will be taken to the screen on the left below. Click the blue “Take photo” button to take a photo of the front of your driver’s license or State ID. Use your phone camera and point it towards the front of your driver’s license or state ID. When the frame turns green, tap your screen to take the photo.

 

After the front of your driver’s license or state ID is taken, you will return to the previous page on your phone. A photo of the front of your driver’s license will appear in the top box.

Repeat the same steps to take a photo of the back of your driver’s license or state ID. After you have taken a photo of both the front and back side, both boxes should be filled with photos of your driver’s license or state ID.

Press the “Continue” button on your phone.

 

You will be taken to this page on your phone:

Step 10: Use your phone or webcam to take a selfie

For instructions on taking a selfie using your computer’s webcam, see ID.me’s guide, How do I take a selfie using a webcam? This option is available if you uploaded your identification photos by computer.

You will need to verify your identity by using your phone camera to scan your face.

When you’re ready, click the blue “Start” button and then the blue “Scan my face” button.

   

On your phone, you will be taken to this page where the scan will take place.

Once the scan is completed, you can put aside your phone and continue verifying your identity on your computer.

Step 11: Return back to your computer

On your computer, you should see this page:

Step 12: Enter your Social Security Number

Once the page is finished comparing your face scan to your driver’s license or state ID, you will be taken to this page where you need to enter your SSN.

Click the blue “Continue” button once you have entered your SSN.

Step 13: Review your information

Now, you will be taken to a confirmation page. Check that your information on the screen matches what is printed on the identification you uploaded.

Note: If your address has changed or you don’t have a permanent address, you can update this information in the CTC Update portal (the function will be available later in the year).

Once you have reviewed your information and made any necessary changes, check the box “The information I’ve provide is correct, and I accept the use of Fair Credit Reporting Act data to verify my identity.” Then, press the blue “Continue” button.

You will be taken to a page that says “Verify Your Identity.”

 

Step 14: Allow ID.me to share your verified identity information with the IRS

When your identity is successfully verified, you will see this confirmation page. Click the blue “Allow” button to allow ID.me to share your verified identity information with the IRS. You can withdraw consent of sharing your verified identity information by changing your ID.me account settings.

Step 15: Receive confirmation of your completed identity verification process!

You will receive an email confirmation. You will be sent an email from the sender “ID.me” with the subject line “You have completed your identity verification”. The message will look like this:

The page will refresh and you will see this message.

You will be directed to the Child Tax Credit Update Portal. You can use this portal to check your eligibility for advance payments, get information about your monthly payment amounts, or to opt-out of advance payments.

Part 2: Using the Child Tax Credit Update Portal

Function 1: Check your eligibility and direct deposit information

To check your eligibility, refer to the “Eligibility” section on the main page of the Child Tax Credit Update Portal.

You will be able to see if your eligible for advance payments. In the first box titled “Eligibility,” it will say either: “Yes” or “No. You will not receive advance payments.”

If you are eligible for advance payments, you can look at the second box titled “Status” to see whether you are enrolled to receive advance payments by direct deposit.

Function 2: Update your bank account information or switch from paper check to direct deposit

To see which bank account your advance payments will be sent or to switch from paper check to direct deposit, click the blue “your profile” text located at the top of the main page of the Child Tax Credit Update Portal.

You will be taken to your profile page. You can see under “Payment Info” your payment method and the account that the advance payments will be sent to.

The first payment on July 15 will be sent to the bank account or mailing address that the IRS currently has on file. If you update your bank account information by August 2, the change will be applied to the next payment on August 13 and to all monthly payments for the rest of 2021.

Note: The IRS recommends direct deposit as the best method for families to access their money more quickly. “Direct deposit removes the time, worry, and expense of cashing a check. In addition, direct deposit eliminates the chance of a lost stolen or undelivered check.”

If you want to change the bank account that the advance payments are sent to or add a bank account to receive your advance payments through direct deposit instead of paper checks, click the blue “Edit” text.

You will be taken to this page where you can update or add your banking information. You will need to enter your bank routing number and account number and indicate whether it is a savings or checking account.

After you are done entering your bank account information, check the box next to “I understand updates I make to this information will apply only to me.” Then click the blue “SUBMIT PAYMENT INFO” button.

Function 3: Unenroll from advance payments

You can choose to unenroll from advance payments and receive all your money at once when you file your 2021 tax return (which you file in 2022).

To stop advance payments, you must unenroll according to this schedule by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time. You don’t need to unenroll each month.

Payment Month Unenrollment Deadline Payment Date
July 6/28/2021 7/15/2021
August 8/2/2021 8/13/2021
September 8/30/2021 9/15/2021
October 10/4/2021 10/15/2021
November 11/1/2021 11/15/2021
December 11/29/2021 12/15/2021

Source: IRS 2021 Child Tax Credit and Advance Child Tax Credit Payments – Q J2

If you miss the unenroll deadline, you will get the next scheduled advance payment until your request is processed.

If you unenroll from advance payments at this time, you will be unable to re-enroll until late September 2021.

On the main page of the Child Tax Credit Update Portal, click the blue “UNENROLL FROM PAYMENTS” button.

Next, after carefully reading what it means to unroll from advance payments, if you wish to continue unenrolling, click the blue “I UNDERSTAND AND WANT TO PROCEED” button.



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