Support for American families
The Child Tax Credit (CTC) is a tax benefit to help families raising children. Under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021 that President Biden signed into law on March 11, 2021, advance payments of up to half the 2021 CTC were sent to eligible taxpayers, meaning that most families started receiving monthly payments of $250 or $300 per child without having to take any action. Those who filed tax returns for 2019 or 2020 or signed up to receive the IRS stimulus check started receiving this tax relief automatically.
- Whether they received monthly advance payments or not, eligible families can claim their remaining Child Tax Credit benefits by filing a tax return this year.
- Low-income families with children, including those who have not made enough to be required to file taxes, should file taxes to receive their full benefit. Free tax help is available to file tax returns.
- For families eligible for the CTC, filing taxes to claim this credit also means many families may also receive thousands of dollars in additional tax relief through the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which provides a tax break for low-income workers and families based on their wages, salaries, tips, and other pay, as well as earnings from self-employment. Under ARPA, the EITC is more generous and open to more workers than ever.
- The CTC does not count as income in determining WIC eligibility (see Income Exclusions Under ARPA).
- All working families will get the full credit if they make up to $150,000 for a couple or $112,500 for a family with a single parent (also called Head of Household).
- For those with children, the ARPA increased the CTC from $2,000 to $3,000 per child for children over the age of 6 and from $2,000 to $3,600 per child for children under the age of 6; it also raised the age limit from 16 to 17 years.
- Receiving the CTC and/or the EITC will have no impact on anyone’s eligibility for, or lower the amount of, other Federal benefits. These rebates are excluded from consideration as household income for the purpose of determining WIC eligibility.
WIC staff can help participants learn more about the CTC and EITC and how to get these credits by sharing information and resources such as:
- Downloadable materials including a full toolkit, one pager, and flyer (available in English and Spanish)
- Sharable social media content (also available in English and Spanish)
- Talking points to provide participants with clear, concise, and accurate information
- Information on filing taxes including free resources to help tax filers
- Information about the Earned Income Tax Credit
- A frequently asked questions section
- Examples showing how the Child Tax Credit works for different families