WASHINGTON - The enhanced Child Tax Credit (CTC) in 2021 provided qualifying U.S. families up to $3,600 per child, and for those who missed out on all or some of the payments, it’s not too late to file to receive the money.
The CTC is a tax benefit that helps with the costs of raising children and was first enacted 25 years ago. It was significantly expanded in 2021 as part of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, increasing the payments to up to $3,600 annually for each child aged 5 or under and $3,000 for those who are ages 6 to 17.
Other temporary changes in 2021 included delivering 50% of the credit in advance monthly payments, beginning in July 2021, and the remaining 50% claimed on a 2021 tax return.
But those who didn’t file a return still have until Nov. 15, 2022, to file for the funds. A simplified tool — GetCTC.org — was created to make it easier for low-income families to get the CTC, as well as the third stimulus check.
The CTC filing tool was developed by the nonprofit Code for America in collaboration with the White House and the U.S. Department of Treasury.
The expansion of the 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. It was the lowest since the new measure was implemented in 2009.
How to apply for Child Tax Credit 2022
For those who usually don’t file taxes, individuals can use the GetCTC.org filing tool to claim their CTC and any missing amount of money from the third stimulus payment last year.
The form takes about 15 minutes to complete and filers don’t need any tax documents, according to Code for America.
Families who received advance monthly payments in 2021 can file a tax return to get the rest of their payments. Generally, this is $1,800 per younger child and $1,500 per older child, the nonprofit explains.
Those who did not receive monthly payments in 2021 can file a tax return to get their total CTC payments — which generally add up to $3,600 per younger child and $3,000 per older child.
"Whether or not you received monthly CTC payments last year, and whether or not you filed taxes in the last few years or at all, filing a tax return this year is the right next step to get your CTC payments," Code for America says on its website.
There are currently no more monthly payments of the CTC during 2022, and those who file will receive the remaining amount in one payment.
Why didn’t I get Child Tax Credit monthly payments in 2022?
Monthly payments of the CTC started in July 2021 after Congress passed the sweeping coronavirus relief package, which made significant expansions to the credit.
However, this only applied to 2021.
While the CTC expansion was not renewed for 2022, families can still receive the second half of their payment in one lump sum by filing their 2021 tax return, Code for America explains.
This story was reported from Cincinnati.