Among the many government stimulus programs launched to help Americans weather the COVID-19 pandemic, one of the most effective was an expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC) that provided families with larger-than-normal payments.
That program, part of the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act, let families receive up to $3,600 per child under the age of 6 and $3,000 for children ages 6 to 17. Those changes were made for only one year, however, and the payments will revert back to $2,000 per child in 2023, CBS Los Angeles reported.
If you haven’t yet taken advantage of the expanded CTC, there are still a couple of ways to do so. As previously reported by GOBankingRates, if you requested an income tax extension on April 18, 2022, you have until the tax filing deadline of midnight on Oct. 17 to complete your 2021 taxes and claim your expanded CTC.
To claim the CTC, you will need to enter the details of your children and other dependents on Form 1040 (U.S. Individual Income Tax Return) and attach a completed Schedule 8812 (Credits for Qualifying Children and Other Dependents).
If you chose to receive a portion of your CTC benefits via advance payments during the latter half of 2021, you will need to file before Oct. 17 to receive the remainder. To calculate the amount to claim, consult your Letter 6419 (Advance Child Tax Credit Reconciliation), which was sent by the IRS to eligible taxpayers in late 2021 or early 2022.
If you have not yet filed a tax return, you have until Nov. 15 to do so and submit your information for the expanded CTC funds, CNBC reported. The government has even provided a simplified tool — GetCTC.org — designed to make it easier for eligible families to get the CTC.
“The money is there; the money is yours. You have through Nov. 15 — don’t wait,” Gabriel Zucker, associate policy director for tax benefits at Code for America, told CNBC.
As Fox 9 in Minneapolis reported, the expanded CTC helped reduce childhood poverty from 9.7% in 2020 to 5.2% in 2021, as measured by the U.S. Census Bureau’s Supplemental Poverty Measure. That was the lowest rate since the new measure was implemented in 2009.
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