Parents with little to no resources, who therefore don’t typically file taxes, could be missing out on a great deal of money from missed tax credits. The Child Tax Credit, in particular, could earn you a substantial payout, although many have yet to apply.
In fact, about 4 million families are owed this money by the IRS, but have not yet claimed these tax credits. You may also be eligible to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit, EITC, or a third stimulus payment.
You have until November 15 to claim these missed tax credits, and here’s how.
What is the Child Tax Credit?
In 2021, the CTC got a significant boost to further help families in need. The credit offers $3,600 per child under age 6 and $3,0000 per child under age 18, up from the previous amount of $2,000. The IRS is sitting on close to 3.7 billion dollars of these funds, so make sure to claim your share before the Nov 15th deadline.
In order to receive this payment though, you’ll have to file a tax return. If you did not file taxes in 2021, you will need to go to GETCTC.org to do so. The site will allow you to file a tax return for the purpose of claiming this benefit, along with any other tax credits you’re eligible for.
Code for America, a non-profit working with the White House created the site, which provides a simplified filing tool for users looking to claim missed payments. The tool can be used on mobile devices and offers a Spanish language version as well.
According to the White House, this is what you’ll need to complete the form. (Income is not required to receive the CTC).
- Social Security Social Security numbers for your children and Social Security Numbers (or ITIN) for you and your spouse
- A reliable mailing address
- E-mail address or phone number
- Your bank account information (if you want to receive your payment by direct deposit
Do you Qualify for the CTC?
Here are the eligibility requirements for the Child Tax Credit, according to getyourrefund.org.
- Earn less than $75,000 as a single parent, or $150,000 as a married couple. If you earn less than $240,000 as a parent, or $440,000 as a married couple, you can still receive some CTC.
- You must have lived in the United States for more than six months in 2021. (If not, you might be eligible for a smaller CTC.)
- The child you are claiming must be your child, your grandchild, your sibling, your niece/nephew or your great-niece/nephew. Foster relatives, step relatives, and half-relatives also qualify.
- Your child needs a Social Security Number (SSN). You, the parent, need an SSN or an Individual TaxPayer Identification Number (ITIN).
- Your child must have been less than 18 at the end of 2021. (Born on or after January 1, 2004.)
- Your child needs to have lived with you for at least six months in 2021.
- Your child must not be financially independent, meaning they can not pay for more than half of their own living expenses.
- You must be the person best situated to claim the child. Generally, parents can claim children before non-parents; parents who spend more time with the child can claim before parents who spend less; and non-parents who spend more time with the child can claim before non-parents who spend less.
Earned Income Tax Credit
You can also claim money from the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The EITC is geared toward families with low to moderate income. Credits range from $1,502 to $6,728, depending on filing status, number of children and income earned. Again, many who are eligible for the credit have not received money yet, so the IRS has billions of dollars waiting to be allotted. In fact, up to one-fifth of eligible recipients have yet to receive their payment.
You can claim this credit by going to the same site, GETCTC.org, but more information will be required. While no proof of income is required to earn the Child Tax Credit, you will need to provide some form of documented income with a W-2 to claim the EITC.
Furthermore, you’ll also have until Nov. 15 to claim your third stimulus payment. Payments were $1,400 per person and first issued in March/April 2021. If you have yet to claim this payment you could be missing out on a generous amount of cash. These payments are called the Recovery Rebate Credit and can be claimed on GetYourRefund. Here you’ll also find additional information and eligibility requirements.
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Erin pairs personal experience with research and is passionate about sharing personal finance advice with others. Previously, she was a freelancer focusing on the credit card side of finance, but has branched out since then to cover other aspects of personal finance. Erin is well-versed in traditional media with reporting, interviewing and research, as well as using graphic design and video and audio storytelling to share with her readers.