Special to Iredell Free News
RALEIGH — This month many families across North Carolina are receiving an installment of the advance Child Tax Credit federal payment, which provides them with up to half of their total credit and bolsters their income to meet immediate needs for children’s health and well-being. These dollars can immediately improve the food and financial security of families with children at a critical time as they work to recover from the pandemic.
“These funds will make a huge difference in supporting North Carolina families and helping them care for their children,” said Gov. Roy Cooper. “Millions of eligible families don’t know they qualify to get this credit. We encourage all North Carolina families who have not yet received payments to check right away to see if they qualify.”
The Governor’s Office, in collaboration with state agencies, is raising awareness of this important federal policy change for the well-being of children and families by sharing information with North Carolinians across the state through emails, flyers, direct links to sign up for the payments, and resources for assistance with signing up.
Families can visit GetCTC.org to find out if they are eligible for the payments and sign up to get them. Eligible families who filed a 2019 or 2020 tax return will automatically get the payments. The Center on Budget & Policy Priorities estimates more than 100,000 North Carolina children, including newborns, live in families who are likely to need assistance in claiming the Child Tax Credit and making sure those families receive the full amount that they are eligible for will provide $337 million to families in North Carolina.
“The expansion of the child tax credit is life changing for so many North Carolina families,” said NCDHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy K. Cohen. “This historic federal increase is expected to cut child poverty by more than half, improving the financial well-being and health of families and the state.”
As a result of the American Rescue Plan, more families with children will now qualify and receive money from the child tax credit. The law expanded eligibility, increased the amount of the tax credit, and made it fully refundable. This means even families that don’t file taxes or have no or very low income in 2021 can receive the full credit amount. Anyone who has a child with a Social Security number in their household can receive the credit, even if the child’s parent or parents who are living in the household do not have a Social Security number. Families that were not required to file taxes this year can visit GetCTC.org to get their tax credit and start receiving payments.
“As evidenced by the Extra Credit Grant legislation signed by Governor Cooper in 2019, programs like the Child Tax Credit are critical to helping the most vulnerable North Carolina families maintain financial stability during these challenging times,” said N.C. Department of Revenue Secretary Ron Penny.
Between July and December 2021, eligible families will receive half of their Child Tax Credit payments in 2021 through monthly payments of up to $300 per child 5 years old or younger and up to $250 per child between 6 and 17 years old. These payments can come in the form of direct deposit or paper checks. The second half will be received in 2022 once a family files a tax return.
Families of nearly all incomes benefit from the Child Tax Credit, especially low-income families. These funds help those experiencing housing insecurity become more financially stable, making it possible to pay past-due rent, put dinner on the table, or move into safe, affordable housing.
The IRS together with Code for America has created a simplified sign-up tool for families with low incomes who have not filed 2021 income taxes to sign up to receive the credit. Alternatively, families can file a full 2021 income tax return in order to receive additional benefits they may be eligible for, including all three federal stimulus checks , and the Earned Income Tax Credit.