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Hawaii News | Kokua Line

Kokua Line: Can I stop the Child Tax Credit advance payments?

Question: How do we stop getting the Child Tax Credit in advance? Work has picked up, and I think we will owe money back if we keep taking this. Can we return the check?

Answer: Yes, you can return an advance Child Tax Credit payment that you received as a paper check, and include a letter requesting to un-enroll from future payments, which otherwise would continue monthly through December, the Internal Revenue Service explains on its website.

Assuming that you haven’t cashed the check, write “void” in the endorsement section on the back of the check and mail it to Fresno Internal Revenue Service, 3211 S. Northpointe Drive, Fresno, CA 93725. (This is the address for residents of Hawaii and 11 other states). Don’t staple, bend or paper-clip the check, the IRS says.

With the voided check, include a separate, brief letter stating why you are returning the check and that you don’t want to receive advance Child Tax Credit payments for the rest of the year. The deadline to update your information for the October payment is Monday, and it can take seven calendar days to process an un- enrollment request, according to the IRS. Based on that timeline, it seems unlikely you’ll be able to prevent October’s payment, in which case you could return it by the same method.

People who received direct deposits also can return some or all of them and un-enroll from the program online; find details on the IRS website,

These monthly installments are early payments of half the Child Tax Credit the IRS estimates you’ll be able to claim on your 2021 tax return during the 2022 tax filing season. “Every dollar you receive will reduce the amount of Child Tax Credit you will claim on your 2021 tax return. This means that by accepting the advance child tax credit payments, the amount of your refund may be reduced or the amount of tax you owe may increase,” its website says.

The Child Tax Credit phases out based on modified adjusted gross income. It will begin to be reduced to $2,000 per child if your 2021 modified AGI exceeds $75,000 as a single filer, $112,500 as a head of household or $150,000 married filing jointly, according to the IRS.

Q: When the COVID-19 vaccines came out, they were for emergency use. Are any of them fully approved yet? What about the booster shot?

A: Of the three COVID-19 vaccines initially authorized for emergency use in the United States, one — Pfizer- BioNTech — has been elevated to regular approval, which occurred last month. This is for the first and second doses of that vaccine.

The newly available Pfizer- BioNTech booster shot is authorized for emergency use, as is the Pfizer-BioNTech third dose for immunocompromised people. These additional doses are the same shot, but for different populations and dispensed on different timelines.

For more information about the authorization process for the booster shot, see the Food and Drug Administration’s website at

A third dose of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine also is authorized for emergency use in immunocompromised people.

General booster shots of Moderna or Johnson & Johnson have not yet been authorized, even for emergency use.

See for details about getting a booster shot in Hawaii.

Advice from readers

Anyone receiving a COVID-19 vaccine dose should double-check that their vaccination card is filled out correctly before leaving the vaccination site. Make sure the card includes the following information: your name, birth date, vaccine type, lot number, date and location received, and who gave you the shot (name or initials). This advice comes from readers who say they were turned away from Oahu restaurants, bars or other businesses covered by the O‘ahu Safe Access program because their CDC card lacked some vital piece of information.

Write to Kokua Line at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or email

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