For millions of families, the firstpayment will arrive this Thursday — and it could be for up to $300 per child. But should you opt out of the partial payments? Depending on your family’s income or the number of kids, you may not want to risk paying the IRS money that you don’t qualify for. If there’s no chance of that, however, the advance checks can bring immediate relief unless you want one lump sum of the money when you file your taxes.
If you unenroll from the advance payments (in two-parent households, both have to unenroll separately) you’ll wait until next tax season to claim the money when you. Even though the deadline for the July 15 check has passed, there’s still time to opt out of the Aug. 13 check. (The deadline to opt out is Aug. 2.) You’ll use one of the new to do so, too.
We’ll explain why some families might choose to opt out, how to use the new Update Portal to manage your payments and what to know about upcoming opt out deadlines. Here’s how you canas a tax break next year and some ideas for the best ways to . This story is updated regularly.
Why should I unenroll from advance child tax credit payments?
Here are some reasons why unenrolling from the advance payment program may be a good idea:
- You’d rather have one large payment next year instead of seven smaller payments spanning 2021 and 2022. This could be the case for families saving up for a big expense or those who have budgeted for that money to pay off outstanding debt.
- You know your household circumstances or tax situation will change at some point this year and don’t want to deal with having to update your information in the portal.
- You’re concerned the IRS might send you an overpayment based on old tax information, and you don’t want to worry about paying that money back. That could be the case if your household income goes up or if a dependent ages out of an age bracket before the end of 2021.
How can I opt out of child tax credit payments?
The date to opt out of receiving the July 15 payment is past, so your next shot to unenroll is by Aug. 2 for the Aug. 13 payment. You can opt out anytime in 2021 to stop receiving your remaining monthly payments. To unenroll, the IRS said you must opt out three days before the first Thursday of the month to not receive the next month’s payment. See the chart below for more.
If you miss a deadline, the IRS said you will get the next scheduled advance payment until the agency can process your request to unenroll. The IRS said currently if you unenroll, you can’t re-enroll yet. Starting in late summer, you should be able to opt back in.
Here’s how to unenroll:
1. Head to the new Child Tax Credit Update Portal and click the Manage Advance Payments button.
2. On the next page, sign in using your IRS or ID.me account. If you have neither, the page will walk you through setting up an ID.me account. You’ll need an email address, a photo ID, your Social Security number and a smartphone or tablet to verify your identity.
3. On the next page, you can see your eligibility and unenroll from the monthly payments.
Child tax credit payment unenrollment dates
|Payment month||Unenrollment deadline||Payment date|
|July||June 28||July 15|
|August||Aug. 2||Aug. 13|
|September||Aug. 30||Sept. 15|
|October||Oct. 4||Oct. 15|
|November||Nov. 1||Nov. 15|
|December||Nov. 29||Dec. 15|
How do married couples unenroll from the child tax credit program?
Unenrolling applies only to one individual at a time. So if you’re married and file jointly, both you and your spouse will need to opt out. If only one of you does so, you will get half the joint payment you were supposed to receive with your spouse, the IRS said.
What does opting out mean for parents next tax season?
Those who choose to decline this year’s child tax credit installments (amounting to half the total) will still receive the same amount of money in the end, but are simply delaying when they receive it. So if you have a child who’s 5 years old or younger by the end of 2021 and your, you’ll get $3,600 total when you file your taxes in 2022.
Be aware that if you unenroll from getting the monthly child tax credits from July through December, you won’t get your full payment — or any payment at all — until after the IRS processes your 2021 tax return in 2022. The total amount will then arrive with your tax refund or can be used to offset any taxes you owe at that time; you’ll be in a situation similar to people who have had tothis year.
However, if you choose to receive monthly payments, you’d get six installments of $300 payments each month this year and another $1,800 with your tax refund next year instead. Keep in mind that if you take the money in advance now, it could lower your tax refund next year.
You can use ourto estimate how much you should get and see a breakdown of the monthly payments if you choose not to opt out and meet all eligibility requirements.
Child tax credit payment schedule
|Monthly||Maximum payment per child 5 and younger||Maximum payment for each child; 6 to 17|
|April 2022: Second half of payment||$1,800||$1,500|
How can nonfiling parents register for advance child tax credit payments?
If you filed your taxes before the May 17 deadline, then you’ll automatically receive the advance monthly payments starting July 15. An online IRSis also available for families who don’t normally file income tax returns so they can register with the agency and receive payments. However, the tool has been criticized for not being easy to use — especially on a phone.
Additional ways to use the IRS update portal
The Child Tax Credit Update Portal will also let you add any changes that’ve happened since you last filed your taxes. For example, if youor gained a or if your income recently changed, the IRS wouldn’t have that on file yet.
Before the end of 2021, the IRS will give the portal more functionality. By early August, you’ll be able to update your mailing address. Later in the summer, you’ll be able to add or subtract qualifying children, report a change in your marital status or income or reenroll in monthly payments if you previously unenrolled.
For more child tax credit information, here’s what to know about the child tax creditand how to estimate your total payment using CNET’s .