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Child Credit Tax Credit payments: Should I take them?

Parents will be eligible for an increased Child Tax Credit that will be paid monthly, unless you opt to take it at tax time next spring.

INDIANAPOLIS — This year, families are eligible for a temporary boost in their Child Tax Credit because of the American Rescue Plan signed in March.

How much are the payments? 

For kids under six years old, the maximum child tax credit is $3,600 instead of $2,000. For kids ages six to 17, the maximum credit is $3,000.

To help get that boost to you quicker, the law lets you take up to half of that credit early through monthly payments July 15 through December. 

If a person with a child under six years old receives the full amount, monthly payments will be $300. If a person with a child between the ages of 6-17 receives the full amount, the monthly payments will be $250. 

Can I opt out?


If you do not need the money now and prefer to offset a tax bill later, there is a portal on the IRS site where you can opt out.

If you share custody of a child and alternate who claims them, IRS Spokesperson Luis Garcia said to know whose year it is.

"Let's say you're divorced and your ex-spouse has custody of the children this year. Even though you had them last year, and they were on your return, you don't want to have to take on that amount to have to pay it back, because those children aren't your dependents for this year. You can opt out then, so that you don't have the issue," Garcia said.

If you fall under this category, now is a good time to talk to the person you co-parent with to make sure you're on the same page and in line with family court agreements.

What's the deadline?

If you miss the June 28 unenroll deadline, you will get the next scheduled advance payment until the IRS processes your request to unenroll.

The IRS said if you opt out, you cannot reenroll at this time. 

If you are married filing jointly, both spouses need to un-enroll. 

If only one spouse unenrolls, the other will get half of the joint payment you were supposed to receive with your spouse.

Deadlines to unenroll in the advanced child tax credit payments

  • Jul, 2021 – Unenrollment Deadline June 28, 2021 – Payment Date July 15, 2021
  • Aug, 2021 – Unenrollment Deadline August 2, 2021 – Payment Date August 13, 2021
  • Sep, 2021 – Unenrollment Deadline August 30, 2021 – Payment Date September 15, 2021
  • Oct, 2021 – Unenrollment Deadline October 4, 2021 – Payment Date October 15, 2021
  • Nov, 2021 – Unenrollment Deadline November 1, 2021 – Payment Date November 15, 2021
  • Dec, 2021 – Unenrollment Deadline November 29, 2021 – Payment Date December 15, 2021