Lightfoot Urges Families to Apply for Expanded Child Tax Credit as Deadline Nears for 2021 Payments

The credit will be continued through 2022, according to a framework of the now $1.75 trillion proposal by Democrats released last week.

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With two more child tax credit payments available in 2021, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is urging eligible families to sign up and take advantage of the federal program.

In order to receive November's payment, scheduled to be distributed on Nov. 15, parents must sign up by midnight on Nov. 1, which is also the opt-out deadline for those currently receiving payments.

Families have a few weeks longer to sign up for the final payment of 2021, as that deadline is Nov. 15. Currently eligible parents have until Nov. 29 to opt out of the December payment or report any changes.

On Monday, the IRS released a new online tool, making the process of reporting significant income adjustments a little easier for families.

Only families who are already eligible for and receiving payments based on their 2020 tax return can use the Child Tax Credit Update Portal to update their income, the agency explained.

Those enrolling for the credit now will see larger remaining payments than families who have been getting them monthly since July, when the checks began.

That’s because the monthly money is an advance on a 2021 tax credit, half to be delivered this year and the rest to come when families file their taxes next year.

The American Rescue Plan passed in March expanded the existing child tax credit, adding advance monthly payments and increasing the benefit to $3,000 from $2,000 with a $600 bonus for kids under the age of 6 for the 2021 tax year.

The credit will be continued through 2022, according to a framework of the now $1.75 trillion proposal by Democrats released last week.

After December, families will have to file a tax return and wait to get the entire credit as a refund from the IRS. On the other hand, families claiming the credit now will get cash up front and receive the second half when they file 2021 taxes next year.

There’s also a limited window for families with eligible children to sign up if they didn’t get checks automatically. The site GetCTC.orgbegun by Code for America in collaboration with the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the White House, will only be available through Nov. 15.

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