Latest Newsletter Edition

Some Taxpayers May Want to Unenroll from 2021 Advance CTC

Millions of U.S. households received their first advance payments of the 2021 Child Tax Credit (CTC) in July. While these payments will help many families, some taxpayers may come out better by unenrolling from the advance payment program. If the advance payments add up to more than your total credit for 2021, you may end up owing tax for the year.

In most cases, the IRS bases CTC advance payments on the taxpayer’s 2020 federal tax return, or their 2019 return if their 2020 return has not been processed. Certain life changes during 2021 could reduce your CTC amount, or even make you ineligible for the credit. Therefore, you may wish to consider opting out of advance payments if any of the following occur:

  • A qualifying child who lived with you in 2020 (or 2019) will not live with you for more than half of 2021.
  • Your income increases significantly in 2021.
  • Your filing status changes in 2021.
  • You previously met the CTC residency requirement, but will not live in a U.S. state or D.C. for more than half of 2021. In this case, unenrollment may be required.

You can also choose to unenroll from advance payments simply because you want to receive your entire 2021 CTC when you file your tax return in the spring. To unenroll for any reason, use the IRS Advance CTC Update tool (link below). A tax professional can help you determine whether receiving advance payments or opting out makes more sense for your circumstances.

Note that for married couples filing jointly, both spouses must unenroll from advance payments. If only one spouse opts out, the other will still receive monthly advance payments equal to half of the original payment amount calculated for the household.

IRS Advance CTC Portal to unenroll:


Greber Tax Advisors does not warrant the accuracy of the information contained herein, nor is it responsible for any errors or omissions and assumes no liability for its use.  The information provided is not intended to be construed as a substitute for obtaining proper expert advice from recognized professionals in their related fields.  Links to third-party websites are provided as a courtesy. The materials on third-party sites are provided “as is” and without warranties of any kind either express or implied.  Greber Tax Advisors exercises no control over the views, accuracy, copyright or trademark compliance or the legality of the material contained on third party sites and does not sponsor, endorse or approve the information, content, products, materials, opinions or services contained on such external sites.  The visitor proceeds to these external sites at their own risk.  Greber Tax Advisors disclaims any and all liability from damages which may result from the accessing this website, or that of a third party site which is linked to the Greber Tax Advisors website, or from reliance upon any and all information contained therein.