Nearly 90% of children in the U.S. are eligible for the expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC). Families can claim the full 2021 CTC – up to $3,600 per child – by filing tax returns now. Studies show that additional income like the CTC is associated with improved health, reduced stress and stronger educational performance among kids in families with low incomes. Last year’s CTC advance payments reduced food insufficiency. Unfortunately, too many kids are at risk of missing out on this credit because their families may not realize they have to file to claim it. As trusted messengers, health care providers and lawyers can play key roles in helping families claim the CTC.
While the April 18th tax filing deadline has passed, many families, including those with no or very low incomes who are not required to file tax returns, can continue to file to claim the CTC (and potentially other credits) without penalty. Stay tuned for more information in May when a simplified online filing portal opens that will allow families without filing obligations to claim the CTC. For now, families can continue to get free tax filing assistance through the GetYourRefund website created in partnership with the IRS. While tax assistance options are more limited now that the filing deadline has passed, the website will point people to available options.
Take one or both of the following easy actions yo help connect your clients/patients and their families to this critical benefit:
✅ Send an email to families in your practice with information on the CTC and how they can claim it, using this email template (text message and robocall templates are also available if these are your preferred communication methods)
Do you have other ideas for CTC outreach within your practice or are you looking for additional resources? You can find ready-to-use, multilingual materials in this CTC Outreach Toolkit, including different flyers and posters, social media posts, FAQs, information for immigrant families and more.
If you have any questions, want support customizing materials for your practice or location, are looking for local tax assistance referrals, want to hold a training for staff, are interested in a unique GetYourRefund URL to track the impact of your outreach efforts, or need any other support, please contact Julia Beebe, Child Tax Credit Outreach Coordinator with the Partnership for America’s Children & Coalition on Human Needs: firstname.lastname@example.org