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Should you opt out of advance child tax credit payments?

Family at leisure
Posted at 5:00 AM, Jul 15, 2021

NORFOLK, Va. - The first child tax credit advance payments are now being sent out to millions of families.

The first of six payments went out Thursday, July 15. The payments will be distributed monthly through December.

The payments are $300 a month for each child under 6 years old and $250 for children between 6 and 17 years old.

Most parents will receive them automatically if they filed a 2020 or 2019 tax return.

There is an option to opt out of the advance payment, though, and there are a few reasons families may want to.

"The number one thing is to really understand your tax return," said financial planner Michael Mason with Mason and Associates in Newport News.

Receiving part of the child tax credit now means your tax refund next year will be less, or you could even end up owing taxes.

If your income is higher in 2021 than it was in previous years or your eligibility changed, you could also potentially have to pay some of the money back.

It's too late to opt out of the July payment, but there is still time for families to opt out of future payments.

Here are the deadlines for each payment:

  • July payment - June 28
  • August payment - August 2
  • September payment - August 30
  • October payment - October 4
  • November payment - November 1
  • December payment - November 29

To learn more about if you're eligible and how much you could receive, click here.