Photo of parents with child

How to get the Expanded Child Tax Credit in 2022

Photo of parents with child
“Family” photo © Alex Alexi on
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During the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress passed legislation that provided financial assistance to help struggling families stay afloat. One measure of the stimulus bill, expanding the Child Tax Credit (CTC), has helped lift millions of low-income children out of poverty.

Low-income households relied on the CTC largely to cover basic needs like putting food on the table and paying the rent.

Although the expanded CTC expired at the end of December last year, families can still claim the credit if they have not already received it.

What is the expanded Child Tax Credit?

When Congress expanded the Child Tax Credit in the American Rescue Plan Act, it made several changes that have helped low-income renters. It raised the amount of money for the CTC, and sent advance payments to families in 2021. Families can receive a $3,600 tax credit for each child under age 6, and $3,000 per child ages 6-17.

Congress also made the CTC refundable. After all deductions, if the taxpayer does not owe any taxes the government will send a check for the refundable amount.

There is no minimum income requirement. The maximum amount of the credit phases out at $75,000 in income for single parents, or $150,000 for married couples. Low-income renters in most parts of the country will qualify for the maximum amount.

Congress also added repayment protection for those receiving the expanded CTC. This means that if the IRS overpays a family, they do not have to pay it back if their income is less than $40,000 for a single parent or $60,000 for married couples. This would cover most low-income renters around the country.

How to claim your Child Tax Credit payment in 2022

Even though the 2021 tax season ended in April, there is still time for eligible households to file and receive the credit.

The IRS Child Tax Credit Update Portal is no longer active, but families can still file their tax return to get their CTC payment.

The “Get It Back” campaign is a national effort of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities to connect eligible people with tax benefits, especially those with lower incomes.

CBPP is relaunching GetCTC.org, a website that helps eligible taxpayers who have not yet received their CTC payment. It will help applicants file a 2021 tax return, and claim their CTC payments.

The website is easy to use and it should take about 15 minutes to complete the process. It is designed to help those who do not usually file income tax returns. Filers will need to provide a Social Security number.

Receiving the Third Pandemic Stimulus Check in 2022

Congress also provided a third pandemic stimulus check in the American Rescue Plan Act. The third stimulus payment is worth up to $1,400 for each eligible adult and qualifying dependent.

While most eligible Americans have already received this payment, many low-income households have still not gotten this assistance. People without a fixed address and those who lack bank accounts are among the most likely to have missed a stimulus payment.

People who have not yet received the third stimulus check must file a 2021 tax return to get their stimulus payment. This can also be done by using CBPP’s GetCTC.org website.

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