Stimulus Update: Child Tax Credit Portal Is Now Closed -- but You Can Still Get Your Money

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  • Some people didn't receive money from the boosted Child Tax Credit in 2021.
  • While a special portal to claim the credit has closed, you can get the money you're due by filing a tax return.

Those entitled to the Child Tax Credit still have a way to claim it.

The Child Tax Credit has been around for a long time, but in 2021, it got a pretty amazing boost. The maximum value of the credit rose from $2,000 per child to $3,000 for children aged 6 to 17 and $3,600 for those under age 6.

The boosted Child Tax Credit was also made fully refundable in 2021. This meant that a recipient with no tax liability could still claim their money in full.

Plus, half of the boosted Child Tax Credit was made available in the form of monthly installment payments. Those began hitting recipients' bank accounts in July of 2021 and continued through December.

Unfortunately, not everyone who was entitled to the credit got their money in 2021. The IRS based its installment payments on tax data it had available. But low-income households, for example, are not required to file a tax return, and some may have been skipped over by the IRS because of that.

That said, those entitled to the boosted Child Tax Credit had the option to register for payments on a special portal called However, that portal closed down just shy of midnight on Nov. 15, so it's no longer an option for signing up.

But that doesn't mean that those entitled to money from the Child Tax Credit can't get it. They'll just have to access it a different way.

You can still get your payday

Given the way inflation is soaring these days, many families could use all the financial help they can get. If you haven't received any money from the boosted Child Tax Credit but think you're entitled to it, it pays to go after that cash. And at this point, the way to do that is to file a tax return for 2021.

Of course, the tax-filing deadline for 2021 tax returns passed this past April. But you should know that if you're owed money by the IRS, there's no penalty for submitting a tax return after its deadline.

The only time penalties come into play is when you underpay your taxes. But if you're owed money for the Child Tax Credit and otherwise have an income low enough that you're not required to file a tax return, it means you shouldn't have to worry about being penalized.

Don't hesitate to get the money that's yours

Many families have racked up credit card debt and raided their savings to keep up with rising living costs. If you've been struggling financially, a nice payout from the IRS might really help. And so you should make an effort to file a tax return as soon as possible.

If you need help filing taxes (say, because you've never done it before), you should know that no-cost help is available through the IRS's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Generally, to be eligible for free help under VITA, you'll need to have a lower income, a disability, or limited English fluency. But if you qualify for free assistance, it pays to take advantage of it.

As you may have read, the Child Tax Credit did not get a boost for 2022. And so you might as well take advantage of the extra money lawmakers made available via the credit in 2021.

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