The Child Tax Credit has been expanded and many families do not realize they’re eligible for these funds if they were not required to file taxes this year. Each household could receive up to $3,600 for each child under 6 years old, and up to $3,000 for each child between 6 and 17 years old. This money is not a loan. 

“These funds are essential to supporting families with the high cost of raising children,” said Leslie Naramore, executive director of Washington Gorge Action Programs (WAGAP). “But millions of eligible families have no idea that they qualify, let alone how to get this credit. We encourage all families in Washington and Oregon to visit in order to determine their eligibility and get their credit before the November 15 deadline.”

Due to the American Rescue Plan, almost all families will qualify and receive money from the credit. The law expanded eligibility, increased the amount of the tax credit, and made it fully refundable. This means even families that don’t file taxes or have no recent income can receive the full credit amount. Anyone who has a child with a Social Security number in their household can receive the credit, even if they do not have one themselves. Families that were not required to file taxes this year can visit to get their tax credit and start receiving payments. 

There is no action required for those with children that have already filed taxes this year, even if they did not explicitly claim the Child Tax Credit. If someone’s family status has changed since filing their taxes, they can update their marital status, income, number of dependents and bank information on the IRS Child Tax Credit Update Portal

Eligible families will receive half of their Child Tax Credit payments in 2021 via monthly payments of up to $300 per child 5 years old or younger and up to $250 per child between 6 and 17 years old, between July and December 2021. These payments can come in the form of direct deposit or paper checks.The second half will be received in 2022 upon filing tax returns.

WAGAP is committed to helping local families understand their eligibility for the Child Tax Credit and the process for receiving their money. For families filing for the first time, or those who need help completing their forms, free resources for support are available: