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You Can Still Claim Child Tax Credit if You Missed Nov. 17 Deadline — Here’s How

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When the child tax credit (CTC) reverted to its original amount of $2,000 per child for the 2022 tax year, many states stepped up to create additional tax credits and stimulus programs to help families with children. However, there are still millions of Americans who never received the enhanced CTC of 2021.

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Although both the GetCTC.org filing tool and the IRS’s Free File program closed for the year in mid-November, you can still claim the enhanced 2021 CTC — and other credits for which you may be eligible — by filing a 2021 tax return in 2023.

According to CNBC, Americans have up to three years to file their tax returns and claim the 2021 tax credits for which they may be eligible. As tax expert Roxy Caines said, “This is not the very last deadline… People will be able to claim tax credits that they’re eligible for through Tax Day 2025.”

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) temporarily expanded the CTC to include more families and increased claim amounts for most working families to $3,000 per child under 18 years of age and $3,600 per child ages 5 and under.

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Most Americans with children who filed tax returns for 2019 or 2020 were automatically qualified for the credit when they filed their taxes. However, with a broader set of families eligible for the expanded CTC — including those who had never filed a tax return, those filing for the first time, those without bank accounts, those experiencing homelessness and taxpayers who have not filed yet — there may be nearly 10 million eligible Americans who haven’t taken advantage of CTC (and COVID-relief) payments, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO).

Generally speaking, eligible families could receive the full 2021 tax credit if they earned an adjusted income of up to $150,000 for a married couple, $112,500 for a family with a single parent and $75,000 for a single filer, according to ChildTaxCredit.gov.

Per the IRS, you will need to provide dependent information on Form 1040 (U.S. Individual Income Tax Return) and complete the Schedule 8812 (Credits for Qualifying Children and Other Dependents) paperwork, which is to be attached to Form 1040, to claim the 2021 CTC.

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Consult the IRS’s updated 2021 child tax credit and advance child tax credit fact sheet for help on properly claiming the credit when you prepare and file your 2021 tax return. And as you prepare to file for 2021, make sure to check on other credits for which you may be eligible: the earned income tax credit (EITC), the recovery rebate credit (if you haven’t received economic impact payments/COVID-19 stimulus checks), the child and dependent care credit and any deductions associated with charitable giving.

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