Child Tax Credit: Updates to Know for November

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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.

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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.

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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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About the Author

Vance Cariaga is a London-based writer, editor and journalist who previously held staff positions at Investor’s Business Daily, The Charlotte Business Journal and The Charlotte Observer. His work also appeared in Charlotte Magazine, Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal and Business North Carolina magazine. He holds a B.A. in English from Appalachian State University and studied journalism at the University of South Carolina. His reporting earned awards from the North Carolina Press Association, the Green Eyeshade Awards and AlterNet. In addition to journalism, he has worked in banking, accounting and restaurant management. A native of North Carolina who also writes fiction, Vance’s short story, “Saint Christopher,” placed second in the 2019 Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition. Two of his short stories appear in With One Eye on the Cows, an anthology published by Ad Hoc Fiction in 2019. His debut novel, Voodoo Hideaway, was published in 2021 by Atmosphere Press.
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