Child Tax Credit: File Your Taxes By October 17 to Claim Your 2021 Deduction

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Although the Child Tax Credit (CTC) has reverted to its original amount of $2,000 per child for the 2022 tax year, there is still time to cash in on the expanded CTC of 2021.

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If you requested a tax extension on April 18, you have two weeks until the tax filing deadline of midnight on Oct. 17 to complete your 2021 taxes and claim your Child Tax Credit.

If there is any consolation, Americans usually have until Oct. 15 to file, but because that is a Saturday this year, you will have that weekend to finish up your return, per The Street.  

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) enhanced the CTC for 2021 considerably, creating the largest U.S. child tax credit ever. The credit enabled most working families to claim $3,000 per child under 18 years of age and $3,600 per child six and younger.

All eligible families could receive the full credit if they earned up to $150,000 for a married couple or $112,500 for a family with a single parent in 2021, according to ChildTaxCredit.gov.

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Time might be tight, but claiming the CTC shouldn’t be taxing on your mind or take a lot of time. First, gather all your documents pertaining to your reported income, expenses and anything related to your dependents, like their Social Security numbers. 

Second, try to do your tax return electronically. It can be prepared and processed faster and a refund can be deposited directly to your bank account. Although the IRS has instructions for all tax filing queries, ChildTaxCredit.gov has a lot of free, easy-to-understand pointers, according to the Social Security Administration’s “Social Security Matters” blog.

According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), to claim the Child Tax Credit, you will need to enter the details of your children and other dependents on your Form 1040 (U.S. Individual Income Tax Return) and attach a completed Schedule 8812 (Credits for Qualifying Children and Other Dependents).

If you opted to receive a portion of your CTC benefits during the second half of 2021, you will need to file before Oct. 17 to receive the remainder. To calculate what amount you are due to claim, consult your Letter 6419 (Advance Child Tax Credit Reconciliation), sent by the IRS to all those eligible in Dec. 2021 or Jan. 2022. This letter details a taxpayer’s total amount of 2021 advance Child Tax Credit payments and the number of qualifying children used to calculate advance payments, per the IRS.

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As always, to avoid the last-minute scramble on October 17 and to possibly avoid delays in processing your return, the IRS recommends filing as soon as possible, even today, two weeks before the deadline.

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About the Author

David Nadelle is a freelance editor and writer based in Ottawa, Canada. After working in the energy industry for 18 years, he decided to change careers in 2016 and concentrate full-time on all aspects of writing. He recently completed a technical communication diploma and holds previous university degrees in journalism, sociology and criminology. David has covered a wide variety of financial and lifestyle topics for numerous publications and has experience copywriting for the retail industry.
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