File a 2021 tax return to get all the new refundable credits you are entitled to, like the Child Tax Credit and the Child and Dependent Care Credit!
- If you received advance CTC payments in 2021, file a tax return and claim your children as dependents to get the second half of the payments you are owed.
- If your family did not received advanced CTC payments, file a 2021 tax return to see if you can get this money.
- You may be eligible for even more money, like the Dependent Care expense, the Earned Income Tax Credit, or more stimulus (Economic Impact Payments). You can get these by filing your taxes.
The American Rescue Plan massively expanded the Child Tax Credit to give most families $3,000 (for children 6-7) to $3,600 (for children 0-5) per child, even if the families had little or no income. Some families received advanced monthly payments of $250-$300 related to this credit between July and December 2021, but still need to file a 2021 tax return to get the rest of what they are owed. Other families did not receive advanced payments but can still receive everything they are owed by filing a 2021 tax return this year. The Child Tax Credit will not affect your Medicaid, SNAP/Food Stamps, TANF Cash Assistance, SSI or other public benefits.
- 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.
- 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.
- You do not need to have any earnings to get this credit. 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.
Collect and save the following mail to help you file your 2021 tax return:
- All the letters and notices that you still have that you received from the IRS, including Letters 6419 and 6475 which should come out in January 2022. View a sample 6419 letter here: https://www.cwfphilly.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/l6419_en-sp-2021-1.pdf
- All your W-2 and 1099 forms if you receive them, and any records of your earnings and expenses if you work for yourself
- Receipts for what you paid to someone to care for your children younger than 13 or a disabled spouse or dependent so that you could work
- Your Identity Protection pin (IP PIN) if the IRS sent you one
- You will need birth dates and identification for all household members (current driver’s license, state ID, passport, Green Card, or Employment Authorization Card) and either Social Security cards or a Social Security document with full SSN on it.
See here for more information: https://www.cwfphilly.org/what-to-bring/
You do not need to pay someone to file taxes! If you are low-income you most likely do not owe the government money, and you may get some back!
- If you live in Philadelphia or the surrounding areas, make an appointment to get free tax preparation assistance at Campaign for Working Families. Starting January 18, 2022, you can make an appointment for free tax prep at Campaign for Working Families by calling (215) 454-6483 or online at www.cwfphilly.org or call (215) 454-6483. We recommend you use this free, IRS approved, tax preparation site rather than paying private tax preparers and risking costly mistakes and becoming a victim of fraud!
- Or you can use this tool to find free tax preparation assistance near you
- If you are a young person with experience in foster care or with homelessness, you can find more information in this TAX FAQ
Last year, many people were able to apply for these benefits using a non-filers or simplified filing portal. This portal was taken down on November 15, 2021. As of January 2022, families will not be available to claim the CTC using a non-filer portal during the upcoming tax filing season. Even if your family used a non-filer or simplified filing tool to access the CTC last year, you should make a plan to file a traditional tax return this year.