FAMILIES can now use an online portal to claim up to $3,600 per child in advance child tax credits.
The Biden administration has initiated the new online portal to ensure low-income parents that didn't file tax returns can get their hands on the credits.
With the new portal, families can claim up to $3,600 per child younger than six, and up to $3,000 for each child aged six through 17.
Families can access the portal by visiting ChildTaxCredit.gov or GetCTC.org, and it will take about 15 minutes to complete the form.
You are not eligible for the credits if any of the following applies:
Read our child tax credit live blog for the very latest news and updates…
Who can use GetCTC, continued
This year, eligible families may utilize GetCTC to claim the 2021 Child Tax Credit, which was increased last year to $3,600 for children under the age of five and $3,000 for children aged six to 17, Yahoo reports.
According to Code for America, families that did not receive the advanced payments last year would receive the complete CTC if they submit it through GetCTC.org.
Yahoo reported that the tool may also be used to claim the third stimulus payment, which is worth $1,400 per family member and was delivered in March and April of last year.
Who can use GetCTC?
The GetCTC tool is for households that aren’t required to file a complete tax return due to a lack of income, per Yahoo.
Low-income families can enter minimal information with the IRS to obtain tax benefits without having to record their income or collect tax paperwork thanks to the simplified filing.
Access to these online forms through GetCTC and IRS Non-filer was not available until the end of the tax season on April 18.
When did GetCTC launch?
The user-friendly GetCTC tool was initially released in September 2021 in partnership with the White House and the Treasury Department.
It is available in English and Spanish on PCs and mobile devices.
This year, Code for America is launching new initiatives to reach out to non-filers in underprivileged areas, Yahoo reports.
TurboTax to refund $141million to users, conclusion
The settlement will affect 4.4million IRS Free File customers who were duped into using TurboTax’s free edition in the tax years 2016 through 2018, according to the New York Times.
Customers will be automatically alerted and will get cheques in the amount of $30 for each year they were forced to pay for TurboTax.
According to preliminary estimates from the settlement deal, Texas had the most consumers who were deceived and improperly charged, with around 460,000.
In its statement, Intuit said it currently follows most of the settlement’s advertising guidelines and “expects minimal impact to its business from implementing the remaining changes going forward.”
TurboTax to refund $141million to users, continued
James said that the company “cheated millions of low-income Americans out of free tax filing services they were entitled to.”
She also said that the settlement, which was signed by attorneys general from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, was a clear reminder to businesses that “deceptive marketing ploys” are illegal.
Intuit must also cease misrepresenting its tax products, which it tempted clients with its “free, free, free” ad campaign, per the statement.
In a statement of its own, Intuit said it did not acknowledge any wrongdoing but agreed to pay the settlement amount “to put this matter to rest.”
TurboTax to refund $141million to users
The creator of the TurboTax program advertised for years that customers could file their tax forms for free online and millions of clients joined up only to be surprised by hidden costs later on, the New York Times reports.
A multistate inquiry led by New York Attorney General Letitia James discovered that Intuit, the software’s creator, will refund $141million to more than four million Americans who were wrongfully charged for tax services that were deceptively billed as free.
Affected taxpayers will receive refunds automatically.
Manchin doubles down
Sen Joe Manchin has doubled down on not supporting an extension of the advance child tax credits under President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better legislation.
The West Virginia politician said that he will not support an extension of the enhanced child tax credit without the addition of a work requirement for parents, CNBC reported.
Strong words for Sen Manchin
Lansdowne lives in West Virginia and had strong words for her Senator, Joe Manchin, over the end of the enhanced child tax credits.
“Go speak to the working class and see how they feel,” she said.
“I will tell you, it helped a lot. And now I’m in a predicament where I can’t work because there is no child tax credit to help me with day care.”
Senators urge action from Biden
Five senators, Michael Bennet of Colorado, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Cory Booker of New Jersey, Raphael Warnock of Georgia, and Ron Wyden of Oregon, wrote a letter to President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris in January, urging them to get an extension of the credit done, CNN reported.
“The expanded CTC is a signature domestic policy achievement of this administration and has been an overwhelming success,” wrote the senators.
“The consequences of failing to extend the CTC expansion are dire, particularly as families face another wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
“After historic progress, it is unacceptable to return to a status quo in which children are America’s poorest residents and child poverty costs our nation more than $1 trillion per year,” they added.
Ways to spend child tax credits, conclusion
Assuming you’re saving up for your child’s college tuition or something that’s going to positively impact him or her in the future, you can try investing in a fund so it potentially grows down the line.
But keep in mind, as with any investment you’re never guaranteed to make a profit. In fact – the value of your assets can even fall if you’re not careful.
But choosing an index fund isn’t a bad way to start, as these are seen as safer bets when compared to individual stocks.
Ways to spend child tax credits, part three
However, if you put your money into a high-yield savings account, you’ll earn more interest.
Specifically, a high-yield account can pay 20 to 25 times more in interest rates versus a traditional savings account.
Last but not least, if your financial situation is stable without the tax credit payments, then it might make sense to invest it for the future.
Ways to spend child tax credits, continued
Some people who’ve accumulated thousands of dollars in debt could get significant relief from child tax credit payments.
If you don’t already have any savings or an emergency fund, the child tax credits could be a great time to build this up.
The downside of saving in a traditional saving account is that it won’t see much growth.
Ways to spend child tax credits
A great way to take advantage of child tax credit payments is by using them to deal with your debt load.
Large amounts of debt can often prevent you from taking out additional loans or making other financial decisions.
Furthermore, it can impact your credit score.
2021 child tax credit, part two
Those with dependents between the ages of 18 and 24 who are enrolled full-time in college can also get $500 apiece.
The child credit funds will be sent to any home with children that qualified for the most recent $1,400 stimulus check.
2021 child tax credit, part one
Previously, most taxpayers could save up to $2,000 per child on their federal income tax payment.
Families may earn a $3,000 tax credit for each kid aged six to seventeen under the new law, but only for the 2021 tax year.
For each child under the age of six, you can collect $3,600.
CTC fortified family finances, continued
In the second poll of slightly over 100 households, 49 percent reported they were able to pay important utility payments on time because of the cash.
According to the research, the enhanced Child Tax Credit payments helped families meet basic requirements like buying food, paying bills on time, and accumulating savings.
Following the expiration of the enhanced credit, 32 percent of 801 households stated they would have a tougher time paying essential necessities like energy bills.
CTC fortified family finances
Last year, the enhanced Child Tax Credit helped millions of families achieve financial stability. Some households are having difficulty meeting basic requirements just two months after the program’s expiry.
Based on a survey of 801 households conducted in December, approximately 92 percent of families surveyed by SaverLife, a nonprofit platform that helps people build savings, said the tax-credit payments helped improve their financial stability
And 59 percent of recipients said it made a significant difference in their finances.
Opting out, continued
Others might have preferred to opt-out to avoid potentially having to pay the IRS money back, or would just prefer a bigger tax refund this year.
For example, you should opt-out if you prefer to receive one large payment at tax time instead of several smaller ones.
Why did some people opt out?
Opting out essentially meant you were postponing when you receive the remaining portion of the credit until this spring, reports CNET.
It is a good solution for divorced or single parents who have joint custody or claim dependents differently on their 2020 and 2021 tax returns.
Poverty and CTC, part three
Columbia’s study found that child poverty is now at its highest since the end of 2020.
Despite the tremendous increase in unemployment caused by the coronavirus pandemic, government relief programs such as stimulus checks and unemployment benefits in fact lowered poverty rates in the United States.
Most dramatic for lowering child poverty was the expanded Child Tax Credit, which was made both more generous and extended to nonworking and poor parents who had traditionally been excluded from receiving benefits.
Poverty and CTC, continued
The study found that the overall monthly child poverty rate rose sharply between December 2021 and January 2022.”
Last March, Democrats in Congress passed a bill extending the Child Tax Credit from July through the end of 2021.
Almost all households in the United States received payments of $250 per month for children aged 6 to 17 and $300 per month for kids under the age of 6, however, the benefits were tapered off for wealthier families.
The annual cost of the initiative was estimated to be over $120billion.
According to official figures, more than a 61million children in around 36 million households got the payment in December.
Poverty may be linked to CTC
According to a study published in February, the number of American children living in poverty increased considerably in January.
This is following the end of President Biden’s enlarged child benefit at the end of last year.
The child poverty rate jumped from 12 percent in December 2021 to 17 percent last month, according to Columbia University’s Center on Poverty and Social Policy, a 41 percent rise.
According to the report, an extra 3.7million children are now living in poverty compared to the end of December, with the largest percentage point increases occurring among Black and Latino youngsters.
To expedite payment, use direct deposit
According to the IRS, the quickest method to collect a child tax credit payment is to file a tax return electronically and choose direct deposit.
The possibility of a paper check being lost, stolen, or returned to the IRS as undeliverable is eliminated with direct deposit.
It also saves money for the taxpayer; according to the IRS, each paper return costs more than $1, but each direct deposit costs only a cent.
Child Tax Credit for Pregnant Moms Act
Several Republican lawmakers are sponsoring a bill that would make pregnant women eligible for the child tax credit.
Pregnant women would be eligible for a credit of up to $2,000 during any stage of the pregnancy.
The expectant mothers can still receive the credit if they have a miscarriage or a stillbirth, but not if they have an abortion.
Utah Senator Mike Lee believes that this bill would reduce the number of children born into poverty, but it has failed in past years.
How to pocket $7,200 child tax credit
Parents that didn’t receive the advance CTC payments in 2021 could receive up to $3,600 per child under the age of six when tax returns are filed this year.
This only applies to two children.
Recipients will have to meet certain criteria to pocket the maximum amount.
Thousands of Americans to get $850 in direct summer stimulus – who qualifies?
Six items to buy at TJ Maxx which are worth your dollars
Direct payment worth $300 to go to thousands of Americans – see who's eligible
Social Security checks worth $1,657 go out TOMORROW – see when you get cash
FAMILIES can now use an online portal to claim up to $3,600 per child in advance child tax credits.