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Did you miss out on COVID relief payments or Child Tax Credit? File now!

Updated Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022

You still have time to electronically claim the benefits, but not much. The deadline to e-file is Thursday, Nov. 17.


If you missed out on the special COVID-19 relief payments, notably the enhanced Child Tax Credit (CTC), then head to the Internal Revenue Service's Free File website.

The IRS is keeping Free File operating through Nov. 17 so eligible nonfilers can e-file a Form 1040 to claim their eligible COVID benefits at, as the name says, no cost.

In addition to the CTC, eligible taxpayers may be able to claim some or all of the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and other tax credits, depending on their personal and family situation. Remember, tax credits provide a dollar-for-dollar reduction in any tax you owe and in the case of many of these tax breaks designed for lower income individuals, any excess credit is delivered as a tax refund.

But to get the credit/refund amounts, you must file by Thursday, Nov. 17.

Free File is available to anyone whose adjusted gross income is $73,000 or less. This year, eight tax software options are available.

Only for those who missed out: The Free File (and earlier simplified online filing tool that closed on Nov. 15)  last-minute filing options are for folks who didn't automatically receive the COVID benefits. 

The IRS sent economic impact payments and CTC amounts to most U.S. taxpayers whose information already was in the tax agency's database.

But around 9 million eligible folks, mostly individuals and families who didn't make enough money to require they file, missed out on the directly delivered payments designed to help them offset pandemic financial hardship.

Using other data avenues, the IRS sent letters to those folks it believes are eligible for the payments, but didn't get them.

Now it's crunch time. This is the last chance to get the money.

If you got a letter, apply for the COVID and other possible tax relief by filing a tax return at Free File. And if you didn't get either payments or a letter, but believe you qualify, you also need to file.


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