With high prices and the ongoing pandemic, the 2021 expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC) can provide critical support to families this summer and fall. Families can still claim up to $3,000 for each child under six years old and $3,600 per child between six and 17. A family with three children, ages two, four and eight, who received the 2021 CTC advance payments, can file to receive the remaining half of the 2021 credit: $5,100. If they did not receive the advance payments, they can now receive the full amount: $10,200.
While the tax filing deadline passed in April, families with no or low incomes can continue to file to claim the CTC without penalty. With the recent relaunch of GetCTC.org, many families can now claim the credit more easily through online, simplified filing. The easy-to-use GetCTC portal is mobile-friendly and available in English and Spanish. Families can also claim their third stimulus payments through GetCTC.org.
We recently shared flyers and sample messages that you can use to help families claim the CTC. We know that you must balance this outreach with your many priorities. Below, we lay out opportunities for CTC outreach in the next six months. We hope that this CTC outreach timeline will help you anticipate strategic outreach opportunities and integrate outreach into your existing programs, communications and events with families. You can use our ready-to-go flyers and text, email or robocall messages to communicate to families during these moments. You do not have to be tax experts; the above-mentioned resources point people to GetCTC.org, where individuals can typically file without assistance. If you are interested in incorporating local tax assistance or other referrals into your outreach, feel free to customize the materials with additional contact information. If you have questions or want support preparing for upcoming outreach efforts, please contact Julia Beebe (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Aline da Fonseca (email@example.com) of the Coalition on Human Needs.
Child Tax Credit Outreach Timeline:
- Summer 2022– In the remaining months of summer, recreational, summer meals and summer learning programs (among others) can share information on the CTC with families they work with, including those with no or low incomes, who are most at risk of missing out on the credit.
- Back-to-School Push in Late Summer/Early Fall 2022– As students return to school in the coming months, school districts and school groups can include CTC flyers and messages in “welcome back” resource packets and communications, and as possible, include mention of how to claim the CTC in any virtual or in-person school events.
- Final Outreach Before the Close of GetCTC.org in Mid-November 2022– Simplified filing will close in mid-November. Starting in mid-October or early November, schools, service providers and other groups can send another round of reminders through flyers or messages. Previous tax credit outreach has demonstrated that repeated messages work best for encouraging families to visit GetCTC.org and claim the money to which they are entitled. Partners can send another round of communication to families during the final month or two weeks before GetCTC’s closing to encourage them to take action immediately. As available, we will share updated resources and language for this final phase of outreach before GetCTC.org closes.
- Official Tax Filing Season, Opening in Winter 2023– While GetCTC.org will close in mid-November, families have three years to claim the 2021 CTC and other money they are owed by the IRS. If families have missed out on the expanded CTC so far, they can still claim it during the 2023 tax season. This includes individuals who currently have expired Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs), who are in the process of applying for renewal. During the tax season, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites will be available, as will free, online filing services.