Child Tax Credit: Updates to Know for November

Photo of a happy young family and their dog enjoying their autumn days on a pumpkin field; family exploring pumpkin patches in the fall and preparing for the upcoming holidays.
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American families who qualify for the enhanced Child Tax Credit still have a couple more weeks to sign up for it.

Even if you have no earned income and have not yet filed a 2021 tax return, you can still get a credit of up to $3,600 if you claim it by Nov. 15, 2022, according to the District of Columbia Department of Human Services (DCDHS). The government has provided a simplified tool designed to make it easier for eligible families to get the credit at GetCTC.org.

Receiving the CTC won’t impact your eligibility for other public benefit programs, the DCDHS noted. These include the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC); Medicaid; Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF); and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

Under the Biden administration’s 2021 American Rescue Plan, the child tax credit was expanded from $2,000 per child to $3,000 per child for children over the age of six, and from $2,000 to $3,600 for children under the age of six. It also raised the age limit from 16 to 17 years old.

The enhanced CTC aimed to provide financial relief to families hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, as of the end of 2021 about 4 million eligible Americans still hadn’t claimed the money, CNBC reported. Among the barriers cited were a lack of guidance from the IRS and difficulty finding credible tax preparers.

The enhanced credit contributed to a major reduction in child poverty between 2020 and 2021, according to U.S. census data cited by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Without the enhanced CTC, child poverty would have fallen to 8.1% rather than 5.2% during the period tracked, and roughly 2.1 million more children would have lived in families with incomes below the poverty line.

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For more information on the credit, visit the ChildTaxCredit.gov site.

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