Attorney General Bonta Reminds Californians It Is Not Too Late to Take Advantage of the Federal Child Tax Credit
OAKLAND – California Attorney General Rob Bonta today issued a consumer alert reminding Californians that it is not too late to sign up to receive federal Child Tax Credit payments. As part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Biden Administration is giving families monetary relief through Child Tax Credit payments as part of its American Rescue Plan. Families can check their eligibility and sign up to receive monthly Child Tax Credit payments online through November 15, 2021. Attorney General Bonta urges eligible families to sign up as soon as possible in order to receive their funds now rather than waiting until after filing taxes next year.
“Our families have faced countless setbacks and financial distress as a direct result of COVID-19. While hard-working parents continue to navigate the challenges of this time, it is critical that they utilize the federal Child Tax Credit,” said Attorney General Bonta. “If you are not yet receiving monthly Child Tax Credit payments, it is not too late to take advantage of this monetary relief. California’s families deserve all the help they can get during this difficult time, and I urge anyone who qualifies to apply now.”
How to Check if You Qualify
If you are a qualifying family that filed tax returns for 2019 or 2020, or who used the Non-Filer tool last year to receive a stimulus check from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), you will receive the monthly Child Tax Credit payments automatically.
If you aren’t already signed up, you can still apply to receive Child Tax Credit payments if:
- You have one qualifying child in your household. Your child qualifies your family for the Child Tax Credit if:
- The child is your child (including biological, adopted, or step-child); a sibling (including step-sibling or half-sibling); or a descendant of your child, foster child, or sibling (for example, your grandchild, niece, or nephew), grandchild, stepchild or adopted child; younger sibling, step-sibling, half-sibling, or their one of their descendants; or a foster child placed with you by a government agency;
- The child was under 17 at the end of 2020;
- The child has a valid Social Security Number;
- You claim the child as a dependent on your tax return for 2021;
- The child lived with you for more than half of 2021; and
- The child did not provide over half of their own support for 2021.
- You meet certain income requirements. The amount you will receive depends on your income. Your family qualifies for the full Child Tax Credit if your household income is less than:
- $150,000 as a married couple;
- $112,500 as a family with a single parent (Head of Household); or
- $75,000 for everyone else.
Even if your family does not qualify for the full amount, you may qualify for other amounts.
These monthly Child Tax Credit payments do not count as family income and will not affect eligibility criteria for other federal benefits, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Public Housing.
How to Apply for the Child Tax Credit Payments
If you have submitted a 2019 or a 2020 tax return, or if you have previously used the Non-Filer tool in 2020 to claim your stimulus payments, then the IRS has enough information to send your Child Tax Credit payments automatically.
If you have not submitted any information to the IRS in the last year, or if you are not required to file taxes, submit your information through the GetCTC non-filer sign-up tool to receive your payments. Here’s a list of things you will need to complete the sign-up process:
- Social Security numbers for your children and Social Security Numbers (or ITIN) for you and your spouse;
- A reliable mailing address;
- E-mail address or phone number; and
- Your bank account information (if you do not have a bank account, a check can be mailed to your address).
How Much Money Will You Receive?
Most families will receive the full amount of $3,600 for each child under age 6 and $3,000 for each child ages 6 to 17. The amount that you will receive depends on your income – families with higher income may receive less, or may not qualify for payments at all.
When and How Will You Receive Your Monthly Payments?
Starting July 2021, most families began automatically receiving monthly Child Tax Credit payments in monthly payments of $300 for each child under age 6, and $250 for each child ages 6 to 17. If you sign up for monthly payments after July 2021, the monthly payments will be bigger, but the total amount you will receive will be the same. If you don't sign up to get monthly payments this year, you can still receive the full benefit when you file your taxes in 2022. Additionally, if you prefer a lump-sum payment instead of monthly payments, you can choose to do so at https://www.irs.gov/credits-deductions/child-tax-credit-update-portal.
If you have a bank account, you can sign up to receive electronic payments through direct deposit. The electronic payments will be labeled in your bank account as “CHILDCTC”.
If you do not have a bank account, or have not provided your bank account information to the IRS, checks will be mailed to your address. If you do not have a permanent address, you can list a trusted address where you would like to receive your monthly checks, such as the address of a friend, relative, or trusted shelter or transitional housing program.
For more information regarding the Child Tax Credit, please visit https://www.whitehouse.gov/child-tax-credit/.