July 8, 2021

Qualified Taxpayers Should Make Sure They Will Receive Increased Child Tax Credits, With Assistance Clinics to be Held in Rockville on Friday-Saturday, July 9-10

To contend with the recent economic downturn that was spurred by the COVID-19 health crisis, President Biden and Congress enacted the American Rescue Plan that included the establishment of new and increased benefits for low-income and working-class families. However, for many families, some of the most important benefits—payments to families with children through the Child Tax Credit (CTC)—could be lost if the families do not have their finances in order.

Generally, qualified taxpayers do not need to do anything to start receiving the credits—except to make sure they have filed their 2020 or 2019 tax returns. Those tax filings were already due.

However, the IRS is estimating that more than 5 million households nationally that would qualify for the Child Tax Credit are at risk of losing it because they did not file their taxes. Those benefits are significant, especially with the new provisions of the American Rescue Plan. For tax year 2021, the Child Tax Credit was increased from $2,000 per qualifying child to $3,600 for children ages 5-and-under at the end of 2021. The credit was increased to $3,000 for children ages 6 through 17 at the end of 2021. The revised plan also introduced advanced monthly payments during 2020 to help families cope with the challenges brought by the COVID health crisis. Monthly payments will be up to $300 per qualified kid.

If taxpayers have not yet filed their 2020 returns, there are community groups available to assist them. They should be aware that receiving the Child Tax Credit does not impact eligibility for any other benefits--including unemployment.

The IRS, in partnership with some community-based organizations, is running CTC Awareness events around the country. In the Washington region, the IRS has partnered with CASA to host tax clinics Friday, July 9, and Saturday, July 10. The assistance will be available each day from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at CASA’s Rockville Welcome Center located at 14645 Rothgeb Dr. in Rockville.

The event will have tax assisters who speak English, Spanish and French.

During the event taxpayers who made less than $56,000 in 2020 can get free assistance in preparing taxes with certified volunteers. Interested taxpayers should call 240-491-5705 to schedule an appointment and obtain the list of documents they should bring to prepare taxes.

The in-person assistance sessions will follow COVID safety protocols, including mandated use of masks and keeping physical distance with other participants and volunteers.

Those seeking tax assistance preparation so they can qualify for Child Tax Credits also can contact VITA Sites in Montgomery County that have IRS-certified programs that provide free tax preparation assistance for low-income families. The list of those providers can be found at https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/Cashback/schedule.html.