Missing Your Child Tax Credit Payments? A Side Hustle Could Help
- So far, the boosted Child Tax Credit is off the table for 2022.
- If you're struggling without those monthly payments, getting a second job is a solution worth exploring.
A second job could compensate for those missing payments.
The Child Tax Credit got a major overhaul last year. First, its maximum value increased from $2,000 in 2020 to $3,600 in 2021 for children under the age of 6 and $3,000 for children aged 6 to 17. The credit also changed to become fully refundable, which meant families could claim the complete amount they were owed even if they had no tax liability.
Just as importantly, half of the boosted Child Tax Credit was paid last year in the form of monthly installments. The first boosted Child Tax Credit payment hit recipients' bank accounts in July, and those payments continued through December.
President Biden had initially hoped to keep the boosted Child Tax Credit in place for the 2022 tax year. Doing so would retain its larger value and keep those monthly payments coming. But so far, lawmakers have failed to pass the spending bill that would allow the boosted credit to continue. And whether it's revived for 2022 is yet to be determined.
If you're having a hard time coping financially due to the loss of your monthly Child Tax Credit payments, you're in good company. So far, poverty rates have risen substantially in the absence of those payments. If you're now having a hard time making ends meet, there may be one thing you can do to compensate for those lost payments -- pick up a side job.
A proactive way to boost your income
These days, there are a host of gigs you can do on top of your main job that could put a nice amount of money in your pocket -- perhaps enough to make up for the monthly payments you're no longer getting from the Child Tax Credit. Of course, finding the time to work a side hustle is tough, especially if you already put in a lot of hours at your main job or have childcare constraints. But if you've been racking up debt in the absence of those monthly payments, then a side gig is worth considering.
The good news is that you may be able to find a fairly flexible side gig that can either be done remotely or on your own schedule. If you're good with pets, for example, you can sign up with a service like Rover.com and dog-sit for families when they go away. Doing so could easily earn you $30 to $50 a day, depending on your local market.
You can also see what driving for a ride-hailing service is like. If you're personable and make a good impression on your passengers, they may be inclined to be more generous with tips. Between those tips and your base earnings, you could do quite well for yourself.
These are just a couple of examples, but the point is that if money has gotten alarmingly tight, a side hustle could come to your rescue. A second gig might even make it possible to build some savings so you have a cushion for unplanned bills.
Will the boosted Child Tax Credit come back?
Whether the boosted Child Tax Credit returns at some point in 2022 is anyone's guess right now. But don't forget that while the boosted version of the credit may not be happening for the current tax year, the old version of the credit still exists. Under that version, you may be entitled to up to $2,000 per child in your household. While you may need to wait until next year to collect that money, it's better than getting nothing at all.
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