How to opt out of the advance child tax credit payments

Child Tax Credit

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 account. If you have neither, the page will walk you through setting up an 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.

Three main reasons to opt-out 

Here are some reasons why unenrolling from the monthly child tax credit payment program may be a good idea: 

  1. 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. 
  2. 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.
  3. 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 next year. 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. 

Opt-out deadlines and how to opt back in

You can opt out anytime in 2021 to not receive 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 that 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 reenroll yet. Starting in late summer, you should be able to opt back in.

Extra steps for married couples 

Unenrolling applies only to one individual at a time. So if you’re married and file jointly, both you and your spouse 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.

Payment monthUnenrollment deadlinePayment date
JulyJune 28July 15
AugustAug. 2Aug. 13
SeptemberAug. 30Sept. 15
OctoberOct. 4Oct. 15
NovemberNov. 1Nov. 15
DecemberNov. 29Dec. 15

What opting out means for the 2022 payment

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 income meets the requirements, 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 similar situation to those people who had to claim missing stimulus checks this 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. 


Monthly Maximum payment per child 5 and younger Maximum payment for each child; 6 to 17
July 15$300$250
Aug. 13$300$250
Sept. 15$300$250
Oct. 15$300$250
Nov. 15$300$250
Dec. 15$300$250
April 2022: Second half of payment $1,800$1,500