IRS wants millions to claim child tax credit and stimulus money

WASHINGTON (AP) – More than 9 million individuals and families who did not receive their Child Advance Tax Credit checks, stimulus payments and other tax refunds will soon receive a letter from the IRS to claim their money.

The tax credit was originally offered through President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package. The government says some families could leave up to $3,600 per child unclaimed, along with other payments owed to them.

IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said many people eligible for the tax benefits will need to file a 2021 federal tax return to get the credit.

“We don’t want people to overlook these tax credits, and the letters will remind people of their potential eligibility and the steps they can take,” Rettig said in a statement Thursday.

The letter, printed in English and Spanish, outlines eligibility requirements for child tax credit, earned income tax credit and others.

The Child Tax Credit program, which was expanded during the pandemic, has helped tens of millions of children and their families and contributed to a 46% drop in child poverty since 2020, a report says of September from the Census Bureau.

Since this program ended, there are already indications that child poverty is on the rise. Columbia University’s Center on Poverty and Social Policy estimates that 3.7 million more children lived in poverty in January, a 41% increase from December, when families received their last check.

Congress is working to make credit permanently available to all families with children.

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Associated Press writer Ashraf Khalil contributed to this report.

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