Child tax credit portals will let you opt out of monthly checks and update your



Families can review their personal details or opt out of monthly payments online before the first child tax credit installment on July 15. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

When this year’s expanded child tax credit launches this summer, it is expected to benefit some 39 million American families. Parents can prepare beforehand to make sure they get the right amount by using CNET’s child tax credit calculatorQualifying families are expected to receive their first advance payment on July 15. 

And, by July 1, the IRS will be making two online portals available to assist with the child tax credit rollout. One of the portals will allow parents to opt out of the advanced monthly payments if they’d prefer one lump sum in 2022. Another portal will help those who don’t normally file tax returns, as well as those families who need to inform the tax agency of any change in circumstances, such as number of children. 

We will regularly update this story as the IRS releases more information. In the meantime, we’ll tell you what we know so far. While you’re waiting for your payments to come, here are some ways to use your child tax credit checks, details on how you might receive your payment and important news about claiming thousands of dollars back for child care expenses like babysitters and day care. 

How to use the IRS child tax credit portals

Right now, we know that the upcoming IRS portals will be helpful for parents to make necessary changes. 

  • The main portal will be used to let families opt out of receiving the monthly child tax credit payments — this is for those who would rather get one large payment next year instead of partial payments through December.
  • The other portal will be for families who don’t typically file their tax returns. This will help make sure their information is up to date, including if they’ve gained new dependents.

Accessing the portals

The IRS has set an open deadline of July 1, though we don’t have an exact date yet. The portals could come online sooner than that. The IRS is simultaneously processing tens of millions of tax returns, which may affect the timeline while it also organizes the child tax credit program.

Opting out of monthly payments through the portals

The main portal will let you opt out of receiving the monthly child tax credit payments. What does that mean? It means that instead of receiving monthly payments of, say, $300 for your 4-year-old, you can wait until you file your 2021 taxes in 2022 to receive the $3,600 lump sum.

You may also want to opt out because you’re expecting your circumstances to change and don’t want to update your information in the portal.

How households that don’t file taxes can use the portals

The IRS will open a second portal dedicated to people who don’t typically file their income taxes. This child tax credit portal will allow this group to give the IRS their updated information, including the number and ages of their qualifying child dependents. 

The portal is expected to let tax nonfilers submit a simplified electronic form to the IRS to secure their eligibility. This group would include people who don’t have bank accounts, as well as the homeless population.


It’s important to let the IRS know about any new dependents in order to get the full amount for the credit. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

Other things families can do with the IRS portals

Taxpayer families will be able to make changes to any life circumstances since they last filed their taxes, such as an income change and child custody status. For example, if you started making less money this year, you’ll want to update the IRS about those changes so you can get the correct child tax credit amount.

If you had or will have a new baby this year, it’s important to let the IRS know, so you can receive your payment for up to $3,600 for that child. The same applies if you adopted a child or if you gained a new child dependent since you last filed your taxes. 

Also, if you’ve gained full custody of your child, you’ll be the parent who receives the money for your kid. Note that parents who have shared custody will not each get a payment. This is important for domestic violence survivors according to comments during an IRS oversight hearing by Nina Olson, executive director of the Center for Taxpayer Rights. “That change of circumstances portal should allow them to enter their change in marital status and also where the children are.”

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For families without a permanent address

Right now, the IRS is urging people to share information about the child tax credit to those who don’t have permanent addresses. By doing this, you’re helping make sure eligible people receive the payments they’re eligible for. You can share the information about the portals with them so they know about the programs to help them file a tax return.

IRS web portal details that are still TBD

There are plenty of details that are still unclear about the IRS’ child tax credit portals, including:

  • The exact date the portals will be available to families.
  • How the portals will work for families updating their information.
  • How families will differentiate between the two portals.
  • The process for opting out of the monthly payments.

For more child tax credit 2021 details, here’s how much money you can expect. Also, here’s what it takes for you and your dependents to qualify for the payments.

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