Tax Insights

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Opting out of the advance child tax credit payments

If you haven’t heard the big news, Congress has increased the amount of the 2021 Child Tax Credits. Also, one half of the credit you’re potentially entitled to will come in the form of advance payments, starting July 15th. The advance child tax credit payments will come in equal installments once a month for six months. If you do not wish to receive advance payments, the IRS has given you the option and tools to opt out.

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If you are married, you and your spouse will have to separately opt out of the advance child tax credit. If only one spouse opts out, the other spouse will still receive half of the entitled advance payments.

I’ve personally used the opt out tools. Here are the steps I took:

  1. Visit irs.gov
  2. Half-way down the home screen of irs.gov and in the middle of the page is a new link called “Child Tax Credit, New online tools help families manage payments”. Click on this link.
  3. On the next page, click on the big blue button that says “Unenroll From Advance Payments”.
  4. On the next page, once again click on the big blue button that says “Unenroll From Advance Payments”.
  5. You will then be prompted to login to your IRS account, if you already have one. If you do not have an IRS account, you can create a new account by clicking the “ID.me Create an account” button.
  6. You will then enter your email address, a new password, confirm the password, and then click “Create an ID.me account”. This page also gives you options to sign in with Facebook, Google or LinkedIn instead. I did not try these alternative login options, but rather used an email address and created a new password.
  7. I believe the next screen will have you put in personal information such as name, address, phone number, etc. (I failed to document this step).
  8. This is where it gets tricky. You will then be required to verify your identity. You choose a verification method by uploading a photo of your license/state ID, passport, or passport card. It will prompt you to put in a phone number where you will receive a text link. Click the text link which will take you to an application that will allow your phone to take a picture of your photo ID of choice. After taking the appropriate pictures, the pictures will then automatically be linked back to the IRS browser you are working from.
  9. After successfully uploading pictures of your ID, your phone will be prompted to take a live “selfie” of your face to ensure it matches with the photo on your ID previously uploaded. I had to repeat this step three or four times because the system could not confirm a match of the photo ID and the “selfie”. I was using a driver’s license as the ID of choice and figured it could not make the match since the photo on the driver’s license was taken many years ago. So, on the last attempt I switched out the driver’s license for a passport instead, retook the “selfie” and then the system was able to make the match. If this still doesn’t work, you will be given the option to schedule a live video conference with an IRS representative that will be able to verify your identity over the video call. I did not have to take it this far, thankfully.
  10. Once the match is made, you’re in and ready to opt out of the advance payments. You will be taken to a “Child Tax Credit Update Portal”. Here you will see if you are eligible for the advance payments and your current status as “enrolled” or “unenrolled”. You can also view previously processed advance payments. At the bottom of this portal screen is another big blue button that says “Unenroll From Payments”. Click that button.
  11. The next screen explains that you’re choosing to unenroll from receiving advance payments and makes you click another big blue button that says “I understand and want to proceed”.
  12. The next screen will have you confirm your selection once again by clicking a box that says “I agree to unenroll, and I understand I can’t enroll again”. Click the box and hit “Submit”.
  13. The final screen shows if you successfully submitted your request to unenroll and explains it can take up to seven days to process your request, and that no further action is needed.

Congratulations, you are unenrolled!

If you have any questions, please contact your Henry+Horne advisor.

Scott Clouse, CPA