News

July 8, 2021

IRS: Get Your Child Tax Credit and Economic Impact Payments

Child Tax Credit payments are set to go out to families this month, and many have already seen their Economic Impact payment land in their bank accounts. For those who did not file a 2019 or 2020 tax return, however, they will not see this federal aid. As the IRS undertakes a series of filing events across the nation this weekend (July 9-10), ELCA congregations have a role to play in ensuring that all who are eligible receive this financial assistance.

The expanded and newly-advanceable Child Tax Credit was authorized by the American Rescue Plan Act, enacted in March. Normally, the IRS will calculate the payment based on a family’s 2020 tax return, including those who use the Non-filer Sign-up Tool. If that return is not available because it has not yet been filed or is still being processed, the IRS will instead determine the initial payment amounts using the 2019 return or the information entered using the Non-filers tool that was available in 2020.

The payment will be up to $300 per month for each child under age 6 and up to $250 per month for each child age 6 through 17.

To make sure families have easy access to their money, the IRS will issue these payments by direct deposit, as long as correct banking information has previously been provided to the IRS. Otherwise, people should watch their mail around July 15 for their mailed payment. The dates for the Advance Child Tax Credit payments are July 15, Aug. 13, Sept. 15, Oct. 15, Nov. 15, and Dec. 15.

To learn more about advance CTC payments, visit IRS.gov/childtaxcredit2021 or see FAQs on the 2021 Child Tax Credit and Advance Child Tax Credit Payments.

Congregations and ministers are encouraged to connect people to the resources they need to receive these benefits. The additional financial aid provided through the Child Tax Credit and Economic Impact Payments can have a dramatic impact on child hunger and poverty. Hunger is not just a matter of food but a matter of policy. Public policies impact how we acquire food – especially how we pay for it. In a conversation for the ELCA World Hunger blog, John Johnson, director of domestic policy for the ELCA, joins Ryan Cumming, program director for hunger education with ELCA World Hunger, to talk about the expanded Child Tax Credit, a huge step forward in addressing child poverty in the US this year. Read more and watch the podcast here.

Share the blog and podcast, as well as these informational posters to help people access the tools they need. Both English and Spanish posters are available.

The IRS has provided a number of tools and special events to help people file. The Non-filer Sign-up tool is designed to help individuals register for the $1,400 third round of Economic Impact Payments (also known as stimulus checks) and claim the Recovery Rebate Credit for any amount of the first two rounds of Economic Impact Payments they may have missed..

People can check their eligibility for the AdvCTC payments by using the new Advance Child Tax Credit Eligibility Assistant.

“This is part of a wider effort by the IRS to reach as many people as possible who don’t file a tax return but may be eligible for the Child Tax Credit and Economic Impact Payments,” said Ken Corbin, IRS Wage and Investment Commissioner and the agency’s Chief Taxpayer Experience Officer. “We encourage people to share this information widely…”

Some tax credits, such as the Child Tax Credit (CTC), are “refundable,” meaning that even if taxpayers don’t owe income tax, the IRS will issue them a refund if they’re eligible; but they must file a tax return or register with the new Non-filer Sign-up Tool to receive it. Some people who haven’t filed a 2020 tax return yet are also eligible for the $1,400 per person Economic Impact Payments and the Recovery Rebate Credit.

The first monthly payments of the expanded and newly-advanceable CTC from the American Rescue Plan will be made starting July 15. Most families will begin receiving monthly payments without any additional action. Eligible families will receive a payment of up to $300 per month for each child under age 6, and up to $250 per month for each child ages 6 to 17.

People who need to file a 2020 federal income tax return, but are unable to attend an IRS event, may be able to prepare and file their own federal income tax online using IRS Free File if their income is $72,000 or less.

People who don’t need to file a 2020 federal tax return can also use the Non-filer Sign-up Tool to register to receive the advance CTC payments, the Third Round Economic Impact Payment, and the Recovery Rebate Credit.

The IRS encourages people to request payments via direct deposit, which is faster and more secure than other payment methods. People who don’t have a bank account should visit the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation website for details on opening an account online. They can also use the FDIC’s BankFind tool to locate an FDIC-insured bank.

Finally, BankOn, American Bankers Association, Independent Community Bankers of America and National Credit Union Administration have lists of banks and credit unions that can open an account online. Veterans can see the Veterans Benefits Banking Program for financial services at participating banks.

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