File your taxes before Monday, May 17th
This upcoming Monday, May 17th is the last day to file your 2020 tax return. As part of the American Rescue Plan, which I helped pass, Child Tax Credit payments are now expanded and fully refundable. Through this, we are cutting child poverty in half in America and lifting thousands of children here in Westchester and Rockland out of poverty. In fact, 64.8% of children, totalling 122,000 children, in our congressional district will benefit from the expanded and fully refundable Child Tax Credit. This will be life-changing, but we need to ensure every family receives the payment to which it is entitled.
Eligible families can receive monthly payments of up to $300 per child beginning as soon as July. The best way to ensure you receive your payments is to file a 2020 tax return – even if you don’t have earnings to report or don’t normally file – because the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) needs information from tax returns in order to calculate and issue the monthly payments.
To begin filing your taxes, visit the IRS website here.
Who Qualifies for the Child Tax Credit Advance Monthly Payments?
Families will qualify for a full credit if their income is below $75,000 for single filers, $112,000 for people filing as head of household, or $150,000 for people who are married and filing jointly.
To be eligible, children must:
Have a Social Security number
Live with you for at least half of the year
Be under age 18 as of December 31, 2021
Be claimed on your tax return
Children are eligible if they are your children, adopted children, stepchildren, half-siblings, foster children, grandchildren, nieces or nephews, or certain other relatives. The adult filing taxes must have a Social Security Number or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.
How Much are the Child Tax Credit Monthly Payments?
The American Rescue Plan expanded the Child Tax Credit to $3,600 per child for children ages 0 to 5 and $3,000 per child for children ages 6 to 17.
The American Rescue Plan also authorized monthly payments of the Child Tax Credit through December 2021. Beginning as soon as July and running through December, qualifying families can get up to:
$300 a month per child for children ages 0 to 5.
$250 a month per child for children ages 6 to 17.
Families will get their remaining expanded Child Tax Credit when they file their 2021 tax return.
How Can Families Get Help Preparing and Filing their Taxes for Free?
Free tax preparation services are generally available until the tax filing deadline. Families should file their taxes before the May 17th deadline even if they don’t have earnings to report or don’t normally file, because the IRS needs information from tax returns in order to calculate and issue advance monthly payments.
Families can file taxes for free online through the IRS Free File program at https://apps.irs.gov/app/freeFile/. If your adjusted gross income was $72,000 or less, you are eligible to file taxes for free through the Free File program.
Families where the parent or caregiver is age 50 or older can use this AARP tool to find free tax help near them at https://secure.aarp.org/applications/VMISLocator/searchTaxAideLocations.action.
As always, my office is here to serve you. If you need additional help with your taxes, or if you or your family need assistance with federal agencies or in response to COVID-19, please call my office at (914) 323-5550.
Member of Congress