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Child tax credit 2021: Manage your monthly payments with an ID.me account. Here’s how

You’ll need an ID.me account to manage your upcoming child tax credit payments. 


Angela Lang/CNET

Haven’t got your July child tax credit payment yet? You can check the status of your check with the IRS portals. To do so, you’ll need to create an ID.me account, but be aware that some people are reporting an error code 2001 during the setup process.

An ID.me account is essential to managing your upcoming payments, banking information and eligibility. The account will give you some important benefits: It’ll soon let you update the tax agency on your current family situation so you’ll receive the correct amount of child tax credit money. You can use it now to update your direct deposit information, and next month you’ll be able to update your mailing address. If parents haven’t updated banking information for July, they’ll still get a check in the mail. 

We’ll explain how to set up an ID.me account and tell you how to unenroll from the 2021 advance child tax credit payment program, if that’s what you choose to do. We’ll also tell you what we know about error code 2001. For more, here’s how to calculate the estimated total of your child tax credit checks, you can also see if you are eligible and what you’ll need to do next tax season if you receive payments this year. 

Why is an ID.me account important for child tax credit payments?

ID.me is an online tool used by the IRS, the Department of the Treasury, the Social Security Administration and other government agencies to verify your identification. Once you’ve been verified on a site that uses ID.me, you can use the same login information on any other site that uses the secure login service.

Right now, the IRS is using ID.me just for its child tax credit tools. If you don’t want to collect the advance child tax credit payments this year and would rather get one big payout next year, you’ll need this account with the IRS to do so. If you already have an IRS account and username, you can use that instead. 

Here are some reasons why you might want to unenroll and what the deadlines are to do so.

How do I create an ID.me account?

Before you get started, you’ll want to gather a handful of items, including your Social Security number, a photo ID — such as a driver’s license or passport — and a phone or computer with a camera.

1. Head to the Child Tax Credit Update Portal and tap the blue button, Unenroll from Advance Payments. On the next page, tap the button marked ID.me Create an account.

2. Now, enter your email address and choose a password, then tap Create account.

3. Read more about the ID.me service and tap Continue.

4. ID.me will ask you to confirm your email address and give you the option to set up multifactor authentication — an extra step you can take to prove it’s actually you making the request and not someone else trying to access your account.

5. Next, upload a picture of your photo ID. Then take and upload a selfie, using your phone or computer camera. If you want to use your phone, ID.me will text send a message with a link to take and submit your photos.

6. Once you’ve uploaded your images, you’ll enter your Social Security number and confirm other information you’ve entered. When you’re ready, click Continue.

7. ID.me will send you a text message confirming that you want to set up an account. If you want to go ahead, click Allow and continue on the ID.me page to send verification to the IRS. 

If ID.me is unable to verify you, you will be given the option to have a video call with a “Trusted Referee” to complete your verification.

What is IRS portal error code 2001?

Several Reddit forums have posts from people who say they are getting an error code 2001 when using their ID.me account to log into the website with the message, “A condition has been identified that’s preventing your access to this service.”

A poster who seems to represent ID.me said they don’t recognize the error code as an ID.me message, however. We’ve reached out to the IRS for comment.

Child tax credit 2021: Manage your monthly payments with an ID.me account. Here's how


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Child tax credit: Everything we know



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Here’s what it takes for you and your dependents to qualify for the payments. For more financial benefits this year, here’s how to save money on child care and health care expenses.

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