RALEIGH (September 17, 2021) – New resources created by the North Carolina Justice Center can help families determine how they can sign up to receive the Child Tax Credit, which has been temporarily expanded for tax year 2021.
This week many families across North Carolina received their third installment of the advance Child Tax Credit payment, whereby families can receive up to half of their total credit in installments from July to December 2021.
However, an estimated 46,000 North Carolina children are in families that will not automatically receive the credit because their income is below the threshold required to file federal income taxes. Other families earn over the threshold but still need to finalize tax filings from 2019 or 2020 in order to receive the payments, or need to update their address and banking information with the IRS. These families need to take action in order to receive the credit and ensure their family can receive the critical supports they need to make ends meet during the ongoing public health and economic crisis.
“Cash supports like the federal Child Tax Credit provide a boost to a family’s budget that helps them pay for what they need most, whether it be transportation, child care, or stable housing,” said Heba Atwa, Senior Policy Advocate with the Budget & Tax Center at the NC Justice Center. “Families are the experts on what they need.”
The IRS together with Code for America has created a simplified sign-up tool for families with low incomes who have not filed 2021 income taxes to sign up to receive the credit. Alternatively, families can file a full 2021 income tax return in order to receive additional benefits they may be eligible for, including all three federal stimulus checks and the Earned Income Tax Credit. To receive the advance payments of the Child Tax Credit, families must take action by October 15, 2021, however, the full credit can also be received in 2022.
“With this year’s deadline coming up quickly, on October 15, it’s important that families who have not yet received the automatic credit look into what steps they may need to take,” said Suzy Khachaturyan, Policy Analyst with the Budget & Tax Center at the NC Justice Center. “Families who do not take action this year can still receive the full credit when they file next year, but the monthly payments are a great way to get cash into families’ hands now.”
Among other eligibility criteria, an important feature of the Child Tax Credit is that only the child must have a Social Security Number (SSN) in order for the family to be eligible for the credit. This means that for mixed-status immigrant families, they can receive the credit for each child with a SSN, even if the parents do not have SSNs.
“Many immigrants in our state work in industries that were critically impacted by the COVID crisis, including hospitality and restaurants, while others missed work due to battling COVID themselves,” said Kate Woomer-Deters, Senior Staff Attorney with the Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project at the NC Justice Center. “The child tax credit can be a crucial lifeline to helping restore financial security for themselves and their children. Applying for the credit has no impact on a person’s green card application, and we urge all families with eligible children to seek out this credit.”