On January 28, 2022, the federal government launched a new website to help families claim the second half of their Child Tax Credit, for those who chose to receive monthly payments. (It also helps you figure out how to claim your credit if you didn’t claim any payments yet.) The first half of the child tax credit was distributed to parents of kids under 18 in $250-$300 monthly payments per child from July 2021 to December 2021, with the second half payable as a credit on your 2021 taxes.
ChildTaxCredit.gov went live last week to coincide with the opening of tax season — which is great, because filing taxes this year will almost certainly be a doozy, and you don’t want to get held up by any filing mistakes (like if you got an incorrect Letter 6419, which is super important to fix if you received child tax credit payments). The website aims to help families file their taxes and ensure they receive the entire CTC amount.
The site features links to filing tools, eligibility determination tools, and information on how to claim your credit when you file your 2021 taxes. However, using the website is not required to claim your credit. It just makes filing taxes a lot easier if you’re lost in the muck and mire of government bureaucracy. So here’s what you need to know.
The Website Provides Much-needed Child Tax Credit Help
With child tax credit payments, stimulus check recovery rebate credits, unemployment insurance, and more, this tax season is sure to be one that’s confusing to the average filer.
That’s why the website — which has links to filing tools, helps you determine your eligibility and teaches you how to claim your credit effectively when you file your taxes, is so important.
In other words, though it’s not required to go through the website, the newly launched ChildTaxCredit.gov can help you navigate the waters this tax season. The website provides answers to common questions regarding the CTC and can help families find free or low-cost tax services.
The Website Provides Help on Other Tax Credits, Missing Stimulus Checks, and More
The website also provides information on how to get your child tax credit if you didn’t sign up for advance cash payments.
It also helps you determine how to file for the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit, how to file for the Earned Income Tax Credit, and how to file for the Child and Dependent Care Credit. It also provides links to services that help people file their taxes, some of which are totally free. Everything you need to know to file your taxes and get the money you deserve is easily available.
The website also has advice and suggestions for those who have never filed taxes before or who have questions regarding eligibility, amount, or discrepancies between their monthly payments and their IRS documentation. Basically, if you’re confused about how to file taxes — this is the place to go.
A Refresher on the Expanded Child Tax Credit
As a recap: As part of the American Rescue Plan, Biden’s 2021 emergency pandemic relief package, the Child Tax Credit was expanded from $2000 for qualifying families to $3,000. Instead of receiving the entire amount of the credit against 2021 taxes, families received the first half of the credit as individual monthly payments.
These monthly payments, which research shows lifted over 4 million children out of poverty, lapsed in December after the Senate failed to compromise over the specifics of the Build Back Better act, which would’ve extended monthly payments for one year.
Families will receive the second half of the CTC when they file their 2021 tax returns. To receive the second half of your CTC, you must file taxes even if you’ve never done so before or if you are below the income threshold for filing. If you’ve never filed taxes, the website will help walk you through all of those in’s and out’s, too.
Will the Child Tax Credit Affect My Refund?
Tax credits decrease the taxes you owe on a dollar-for-dollar basis as opposed to deductions and exemption, which lower your taxable income and the rate at which your income is taxed. So the second half of the CTC will be applied directly to the tax you owe, which can increase your refund or decrease your tax bill if you owe.
Keep in mind, though, the expanded CTC increased the amount of the credit from $2,000 in past years to $3,000 or $3,600 depending on the age of your child for the 2021 tax year. For parents who traditionally claimed the $2,000 credit and received monthly CTC payments, the amount they claim on their taxes this year will be $1,500 or $1,800, which could lower their expected tax refund.
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