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Why do people choose not to pay the child discount monthly?


Find out how to get your $3,600 tax credit in one go instead of monthly checks.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Families with eligible dependents will begin receiving the first payments of the child tax credit on July 15. Half of the total will come in through monthly checks through the end of the year, and the other half will come with your tax return next spring. If you qualify for the full tax credit (use CNET’s calculator to estimate your payments), you will receive $300 per month per dependent under age 6, and $250 per month for each older dependent, with an additional $1,800 (or $1,500) at tax time.

However, some families may waive the child tax credit and choose to receive one lump sum instead — up to $3,600 or $3,000 — with their tax returns instead of monthly checks. There are a number of good reasons for deferring payment, for example if your income or number of next of kin changes in 2021 and you don’t want the hassle of extra paperwork. To unsubscribe, you must do one of the or IRS Child Tax Credit Portals, which should be live on July 1.

Read on to learn more about why you might want to opt out — and how to do so before July 15. And in the meantime, here’s how claim up to $16,000 in childcare costs as a tax break next year, and some ideas for the best ways to spend your child tax credit when it comes. And this is what we know about: the new incentive plans and how they can make you more money. This story gets regular updates.

Why should parents waive child tax credit prepayments?

Here are some reasons why it might be a good idea to opt out of the monthly child tax credit:

  • You’d rather have one large payment next year rather than seven smaller payments in 2021 and 2022. This may be the case for families saving for a major expense or for those who budgeted that money to pay off outstanding debt.
  • You know that your family or tax situation will change and you do not want to update your data in the portal.
  • You’re worried that the IRS has accidentally overpaid you, and you don’t want to worry about paying that money back next year.

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What is the payment schedule for those who opt out?

Those who choose to decline this year’s child discount payments (which amount to half of the total) will still end up receiving the same amount, but simply wait to receive it.

Please note that if you opt out of receiving the monthly child tax credits from July to December, you will receive your full payment – or no payment at all – until after the tax authorities will process your 2021 tax return next year. The total amount will then be added to your tax refund, or can be used to settle any taxes you owe at that time; you are in a similar situation to those people who had to claim missing stimulus checks on their taxes this year.

So if you have a child who is 5 years or younger at the end of 2021 and your income meets the requirements, you will get a total of $3,600 when you file your taxes in 2022. However, if you choose to receive monthly payments, you’ll get six installments of $300 per month this year and another $1,800 next year with your tax refund. You can use our child discount 2021 calculator to estimate how much you should get.

How will the IRS portals help set up a single annual payment next year?

If you filed your tax return before the Deadline May 17, you will automatically receive the monthly advance payments from 15 July. But before next month, the IRS will open two portals designed specifically for the new child tax relief payments, one of which is available to households who want to waive monthly installments of the year.

We will know more about the details once the portals are up and running, and the IRS should have more resources to build the portals with the end of the tax season. We know that the IRS will have paper forms available for those who do not have Internet access. “We will make forms and instructions available to people who wish to opt out,” IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig said on April 13.

We also know that the portals can be used to update the IRS with any changes that have happened since you filed your last tax return. For example, if you had a new baby in 2021, got a new one qualified dependent or if your income has recently changed, the IRS doesn’t have it on file yet.

To learn more about child tax credits, here’s what you need to know: if you share custody of a child. Here’s also what you need to know about the payment term for child tax credit child and the extra things to do for parents of babies from 2021 to claim their payments.

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