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Child tax credit: IRS portals will help you get your money. Here’s what they’re

300$ cash with calculator

Parents might want to revise their income or the number of dependents before receiving a child tax credit check.

Sarah Tew/CNET

If you’re eligible for the child tax credit payments, you should get a head start on calculating how much money you’ll get before the first payment arrives July 15. The IRS is working on opening two portals for families with qualifying dependents so they can update their information. The portals will be available to register (if you don’t normally file a tax return), update information (if there’s a change in the number of dependents) and to opt out of the monthly payments if you want a larger check instead. 

On the 15th of each month, the advance child tax credit payments will be sent out — unless it falls on a weekend or holiday. Each check could be as much as $300 per child depending on the child’s age by the end of 2021. Parents should be aware of the income limit and other requirements to get the full payment per child.

As we get more information from the IRS, we’ll update this story frequently to explain the separate portals. Here are some different ways to use your child tax credit checks, how you may receive your payment and how you can claim an additional $8,000 to $16,000 credit for child care expenses.

What can you do when the IRS child tax credit portals open?

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, Nina Olson, executive director of the Center for Taxpayer Rights said during an IRS oversight hearing. “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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When will qualified families have access to the two online 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.

Can families opt out of monthly payments using one of the IRS 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…

Read More: Child tax credit: IRS portals will help you get your money. Here’s what they’re

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