CHILD TAX CREDIT

IRS Child Tax Credit portal: how can I use it to opt out and what other uses does it have?

The monthly payments are set to begin from 15 July but some families may wish to unenroll from the new programme, prefering to get a single annual credit instead.

IRS Child Tax Credit portal: how can I use it to opt out and what other uses does it have?
JONATHAN ERNST REUTERS

The White House has designated Monday 21 June as Child Tax Credit Awareness Day in an attempt to spread the word about the upcoming direct payments.

An estimated 88% of American children will be covered by the expanded programme, which will see parents receive monthly payments worth up to $300 per child. Parents can also decide to receive the money as a single annual payment if they prefer.

In a statement released to mark the awareness day, President Biden said the new Child Tax Credit payments would “give our nation’s hardworking families with children a little more breathing room when it comes to putting food on the table, paying the bills, and making ends meet.”

IRS to introduce online portal to control your Child Tax Credit payments

As has been the case with the three rounds of stimulus checks, the Child Tax Credit distribution process will be overseen by the IRS. To help streamline the mammoth national effort, the tax authority will introduce two new online portals to allow parents to control their payments.

The IRS have confirmed that they intend to get the new portals up and running by 1 July, giving recipients two weeks to make any changes they want to make. In the past the Child Tax Credit has been made available in a lump sum when they filed their taxes, and that can still be requested with the new system.

The IRS confirm that recipients can use the new portal “to unenroll before the first advance Child Tax Credit payment is made. You will not be able to unenroll before the portal is open.”

This will eliminate the risk of potentially having to pay back a proportion of the monthly payments if you report an increase in household income in your next tax filing. For more details on this, check out our guide on Avoiding Child Tax Credit Repayments.

What else can the online portals be used for?

The same portal used to opt out from the monthly payments can also be used for parents to check whether they are eligible for the expanded Child Tax Credit, and how much money they can expect to receive from the programme.

Another new portal, again expected to go live from 1 July, will allow recipients to track their payments once the process has begun. The IRS say that parents will be able to check the status of the payments and update their information if their personal or financial situation changes.