The Child Tax Credit (CTC) has always been a popular tax break for families. During the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of taxpayers with children came to depend on it even more.
Now, some parents who usually don't have to file a tax return can still get this tax break, which could be as much as $3,600 per child.
But they must act by Nov. 15.
Pandemic pumped-up credit: The CTC was enhanced as part of 2021's American Rescue Plan Act coronavirus relief legislation. It upped the usual $2,000 per child credit for qualifying youngsters.
For the 2021 tax year, the CTC grew to $3,600 per each child age 5 or younger. It's $3,000 per child age 6 to 17.
In most cases, the IRS distributed the increased credits as monthly payments based on taxpayers' dependent information from previously filed returns.
However, some eligible taxpayers didn't get the money because they didn't make enough to trigger the Form 1040 filing requirement.
Easier online way for nonfilers to get CTC: To get the new, increased credit amount, these folks had to file a tax return or, as the IRS recommended, use an online simplified filing option to claim the tax break.
A recent analysis by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration of the IRS' distribution of the advance CTC amounts found that more than 4 million eligible individuals missed out on the money.
That online option is still available for those nonfilers at GetCTC.org through Nov. 15. The GetCTC simplified filing tool was developed by the nonprofit Code for America in collaboration with the White House and the U.S. Department of Treasury.
Later date for nonfilers only: Yes, that Nov. 15 deadline is one month later than the usual extended tax return due date of Oct. 15, or Oct. 17 this year since the 15th is on Saturday.
And yes, it is only for taxpayers who don't have to legally file a tax return.
If you are required to file a return and got an extension to file, you still must meet this month's deadline and claim your CTC amount on that return by Oct. 17.
You cannot come back after the October filing extension date to claim online the 2021 CTC.
But if you have youngsters, didn't have to file a tax return this year, and didn't get your Child Tax Credit money, check out the GetCTC site and file for your tax cash. The site's administrators say it only takes about 15 minutes to complete the process.
Just be sure to take advantage of it by Nov. 15.
You also might find these items of interest:
- 5 tests a child must meet to be your tax dependent
- 10 reasons to file a tax return even if you don't have to
- You got your last 2021 Advance Child Tax Credit payment. Now what?
- Tax credit for other dependents can help families with older kids, aging parents