Millions of Americans who have never filed a tax return will be required to do so this year in order to collect the additional child tax credit.
Previously, the entire credit was only available to those who made enough money to owe income taxes.
President Joe Biden increased the program as part of the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan, raising payments to up to $3,600 yearly for children aged 5 and under and $3,000 for those aged 6 to 17.
The monthly payments were $300 for children under the age of five and $250 for those aged five to seventeen.
Beginning in July of last year, the government began sending the payments, totaling $93 billion, on a monthly basis. There is now six months’ worth of payments awaiting payment. Furthermore, some families have yet to receive any of the benefits that they are entitled to. A total of $193 billion is still owed to the government.
Filing a tax return is the only way to get the money.
In December alone, more than 36 million families got advance payments, making it the final month for advanced monthly payments to be distributed to homes. If a family’s adjusted gross income in 2021 was at or below $150,000 for married couples filing a joint return, or $75,000 for single-filer parents, they are eligible for the full credit.
Whether or whether a family owes taxes or has already filed taxes, they will need to submit a return in order to get all or part of their money.
Eligible families that did not get advance payments for the child tax credit in 2021 may still claim the entire amount of the benefit on their federal tax return. Families who are unclear whether or not they have received payments, or who may have received uncashed paper checks, may use the Child Tax Credit Update Portal to find out how much credit they should have received.
Families who received payments should also have gotten a “Letter 6419, 2021 advance CTC” letter, which details the number of advance payments received as well as tax information for filing reasons.
However, the IRS has said that some people’s filings may have included false information. People who wish to double-check the amount they should have received may use the site. Regardless of paperwork errors, the IRS recommends that taxpayers save the letter, as well as any additional IRS correspondence concerning advance payments, alongside their tax records.
The IRS encourages people to submit their taxes online in order to speed up the processing of forms and offers connections on its website to free filing sites such as GetYourRefund.org, which assists households earning less than $66,000 a year in completing their taxes for free. The nonprofit collaborates with IRS-certified Volunteer Income Tax Assistance to give free tax assistance in both English and Spanish. Another alternative is MyFreeTaxes.com, which gives free federal and state tax filing help to anyone earning $58,000 or less. The United Way is the organization that provides this service.
The IRS also provides a tool that may be used to find alternative free file sites that can assist with tax filing.
Residents of Puerto Rico were qualified for child tax credit benefits as part of the coronavirus assistance package, but they were not eligible for the advance monthly payments. Instead, by submitting a federal income tax return this year, Puerto Rican families may obtain the entire amount of the child tax credit for which they are qualified. Residents of American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, or the United States of America are also eligible. Virgin Islands residents may be entitled to the full child tax credit, but they must contact their local US territory tax department to find out.
The Internal Revenue Service has developed a website called ChildTaxCredit.gov that outlines the requirements that filers must complete in order to earn the full benefit. Beginning February 12, the IRS will begin giving walk-in assistance with IRS volunteers in a limited number of sites to those who need help filing their taxes.
From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., 35 tax help centers around the nation will be open. till 4 p.m. on the second Saturday of each of the next four months
The deadline for submitting taxes is April 18.