Time is running out to apply for child tax credit, stimulus check

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The Internal Revenue Service is keeping its Free File program open for an additional month, extending the time for eligible individuals to claim COVID stimulus payments, including the Child Tax Credit.

Why is this important: More than 9 million Americans have not claimed the payments and may be eligible for the 2021 payback rebate credit, child tax credit and earned income tax credit, the IRS said in A press release.

Driving the news: While Monday is the tax deadline for many who have filed extensions, the IRS said Free File will remain open until Nov. 17.

  • The IRS said it is sending “special reminder letters” to people who appear to be entitled to the credits but have not filed a 2021 tax return claiming them.

Meanwhile, October 17 is considered the last day for most people to file a Form 1040 to avoid the late filing penalty.

What they say : “The IRS would like to remind potentially eligible individuals, especially families, that they can benefit from these valuable tax credits,” IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said in a press release.

  • “We encourage people who have not yet filed a 2021 tax return to consider these options,” Rettig said. “Even if they are not required to file a tax return, they may still qualify for several important credits.”
Child tax credit payments

Families can claim the expanded child tax credit even though they received monthly payments in the last semester of 2021.

  • The total credit can reach $3,600 per child.

Separately, there is also an increase in the Child and Dependent Care Credit for a tax credit for families paying for child care up to $4,000 for one eligible child and $8,000 for two or more .

Recovery Rebate Credit or stimulus payments

State of play: If you missed the third round of stimulus checks, also known as economic impact payments, you may be eligible to claim the recovery rebate credit.

  • If you didn’t receive the full amount or had a baby in 2021, you may also owe money.
  • The maximum credit is $1,400 for each qualifying adult and $1,400 for each qualifying child or dependent adult.
IRS free file open until November 17

Theirs said its Free File tax filing program is open the extra month for “those who have yet to file their 2021 tax returns,” including those who are eligible for tax credits.

  • You can use the Free File online tax preparation and filing options online if your adjusted gross income was $73,000 or less in 2021.

How it works: Free File is a partnership between the IRS and industry leaders in tax preparation software. It is available in English and Spanish.

  • The Traditional Free File allows individuals to electronically prepare and file their federal income taxes online using guided tax preparation.
  • Taxpayers with gross income over $73,000 can use free fillable forms that can be completed and filed online for free.

Yes, but: To use this option, taxpayers must know how to prepare their own tax return, according to the IRS.

File a simple tax return until November 15

IRS declared 2021 tax returns can also be filed at ChildTaxCredit.gov/file.

Details: People with incomes under $12,500 and couples under $25,000 may be able to file a “simple tax return” in just 15 minutes, the IRS said on the website.

  • The Child Tax Credit website directs users to the simplified filing tool at GetCTC.org.
  • The site will be open until November 15 to submit the simple declaration to claim the tax credits.
Tax deadline extended in Florida and the Carolinas for Hurricane Ian

Hurricane Ian extended the tax deadline for Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina from October 17 to February 15, 2023 for personal and business tax returns, the IRS said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Taxpayers in FEMA Disaster Reporting in Missouri, Kentucky and St. Croix Island in the US Virgin Islands have until November 15 to file various personal and business tax returns.

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