How to file for your child tax credit

This article is intended for the parents of 55,000 children in New Jersey and nearly 14,000 children in Philadelphia who won’t get their Child Tax Credit (CTC) payment automatically. They are the children of immigrant parents, in households who earn so little they are not required to file a federal tax form, and perhaps even uninsured.

Families who did not have to file a 2019 or 2020 federal tax return, and missed out on Economic Impact/Stimulus payments, still have time to receive a monthly Child Tax Credit payment of $250 to $300 during 2021. Families can supply the IRS with needed information by using the Non-filer Sign-up Tool. The IRS will automatically determine eligibility and issue advance payments based on the information you give them.

A recent survey of free tax filing assistance sites reveals two organizations still helping individuals and families to file a tax return and/or assist in applying for the enhanced Child Tax Credit. They are:

New Jersey Citizen Action, 165 Halsey Street, Newark, NJ. Open Monday – Thursday, 9am-1pm. 888-829-3711. The are operating as a drop off and remote service only site – no face-to-face interviews. Visit their free tax preparation page. They encourage the clientele to visit an IRS child tax credit page in order to manage and receive the Child Tax Credit. This government website enables a family to: check if they qualify for advance CTC payments and submit needed information to qualify.

Campaign for Working Families, 1415 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA, 215-454-6483, provides a number of options including: drop off appointments in Philadelphia, Montgomery County and various South Jersey locations, virtual appointments, and access to free tax software services. They are open for tax filing assistance through September. To schedule an appointment, visit their website at https://cwfphilly.org.

Additional information is available on the GetCTC website, a service of Code for America. Community advocates should also visit the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ 2021 CTC Outreach Resources page.

EITC Awareness Day – January 25, 2013

EITC Awareness Day is a one-day blitz for mainstream and social media to reach the broadest possible range of potentially eligible taxpayers. In 2012, 26.5 million low and moderate income households received $60.7 billion under the Earned Income Tax Credit. If you worked and had income under $50,270 find out if your are eligible for EITC.

There are a number of contact points to determine if you qualify. They include calling the Internal Revenue Service at 1-800-829-1040 or the New Jersey Division of Taxation at 888-895-9179. In New Jersey you can call the 2-1-1 Partnership by dialing 2-1-1 or 877-652-1148 to get free help filing your taxes.

Free help in preparing your tax return – you can claim EITC even if you had nothing withheld from your paycheck – is available through the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide or at Volunteers in Tax Assistance (VITA) sites throughout New Jersey and nationwide. The 2-1-1 Partnership maintains a list of VITA and AARP Tax Assistance Sites in New Jersey.

Also, a number of organizations in and near New Jersey promote EITC and provide free tax preparation service to qualifying individuals and families. They are:
Mercer County CASH Campaign
Newark Now
New Jersey Citizen Action
Our neighbors in Philadelphia can also contact either Ceiba or Campaign for Working Families.

Nonprofit organizations that wish to become actively involved in promoting EITC should contact either the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities or the National Community Tax Coalition.

Additional details and web links are available on New Jersey Community Resources website on the Earned Income Tax Credit page.

To claim your EITC tax credit you must file a tax return.