A new feature launched by the IRS on Friday will make it easier for families getting the advance child tax credit by mail to update their address without delaying or missing the September payment.
In order for the change to take effect in time, the address must be updated prior to midnight ET on Aug. 30, according to an IRS news release. If that deadline isn’t met, families who have moved and are due to get the credit risk mailing delays, or having the the check designated undeliverable and returned to the agency.
The address change feature can be found on the same online portal where households can check their enrollment status for the payments, unenroll from the monthly installments, update their bank account information for direct deposit and view their payment history, among other things.
Families are reminded by the IRS that any changes must be made before the Aug. 30 deadline, or it won’t go into effect until the October installment.
The next child tax credit payment goes out Sept. 15.
Even those who are receiving the child tax credit through direct deposit to their bank account are encouraged to use the feature to change their address if they’re moving soon, according to the IRS. That’s because it will also automatically update where the federal agency sends all future correspondence by mail.
“For example, the IRS will mail a year-end summary statement (Letter 6419) to all taxpayers who have received advance Child Tax Credit payments during 2021 and having a current address on file with the IRS will ensure prompt delivery of this statement,” the news release stated.
That’s important since only half the the child tax credit is being disbursed in advance; parents will thus need Letter 6419 to fill out their federal income tax return for 2021 in order to claim the rest of the payment.
The six monthly installments, which will be paid out through December, are based on 2019 or 2020 tax returns.
The IRS sent out the second round of payments — as much as $300 for each child 5 years old and younger, and up to $250 per child ages 6 through 17 — to about 36 million families last Friday.
Some households that were supposed to receive the payment through direct deposit were mailed a check instead, however, due to a “technical issue” that affected less than 15% of recipients, according to the IRS. The glitch is expected to be fixed before the next payment.
The agency also said Friday that it plans to add more features soon to the child tax credit update portal, including the ability to add or remove a child in most situations, and reporting a marital status or significant income change.