2021 Child Tax Credit and Advance Child Tax Credit Payments — Topic K: Verifying Your Identity to Manage your Payments

A1. The IRS needs to make sure you’re you - and not someone pretending to be you - before we give you access to your sensitive account information. The verification of your identity helps to keep your information safe and prevent fraud and identity theft.

A2. If you are a new user, you must create an ID.me account at the IRS and verify your identity. ID.me is a trusted credential service provider selected to support IRS.gov login services.

ID.me uses the latest in identity verification technology to authenticate your identity quickly and easily. Learn more about ID.me and the IRS verification process at Sign In or Create a New Account.

If you have an existing account with the IRS, use your Secure Access username and password and enter the security code as part of the multi-factor authentication (MFA) process. If you have an existing account with ID.me from a state government or federal agency, you may use your email and password and complete MFA.

A3. ID.me authenticates individuals 18 years old and older. If you are 17 or younger, call the telephone number on your IRS letter should you opt to unenroll from monthly payments or use the online eligibility tool.

A4. Yes, as a credential service provider certified against federal standards, ID.me is required to store the individual's information.  ID.me protects all sensitive data with stronger encryption than many financial institutions.

A5. If you’re a new user, you must create an ID.me account at the IRS to verify your identity. You can get help verifying your identity with ID.me on the ID.me help site. ID.me is a trusted credential service provider selected to support IRS.gov login services. 

You also can try signing in with the IRS username you use to access other services such as Online Account. Online Account is an online system that allows you to securely access your individual account information.

If you can’t verify your identity online, you can call the telephone number on the letter you received from the IRS telling you that you may be eligible to receive advance Child Tax Credit payments (Letter 6416 PDF). When you call, you’ll need to answer questions to verify your identity with the customer service representative. 

A6. You can update your address or unenroll from advance Child Tax Credit payments. Other updates to your information, such as changing your bank account information, can only be made through the Child Tax Credit Update Portal (CTC UP), after you verify your identity.

A7. After verifying your identity with ID.me, you may see an IRS message saying that “A condition has been identified that's preventing your access to this service.” If you see this message, please try to sign-in again later.

If you continuously receive this message, this means that you won’t be able to use the online Child Tax Credit Update Portal. Instead, you can call the telephone number on the letter you received from the IRS telling you that you may be eligible to receive advance Child Tax Credit payments (Letter 6416 PDF). When you call, you’ll need to answer questions to verify your identity with the customer service representative.