Michael Bennet U.S. Senator for ColoradoMenu
Be sure to file your 2021 taxes in the coming weeks to claim your expanded Child Tax Credit. If you received advance payments last year, you will receive the second half of your credit after filing — up to $1,800 per child. Families should be ready with the letter the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) sent starting in December (IRS Letter 6419) or check the amount of their payments by using the CTC Update Portal or their IRS Online Account.
If you didn’t receive advance payments, you will receive the full value of the credit after filing— up to $3,600 per child.
If your family welcomed a new child in 2021, file your 2021 tax return to claim your benefits.
Most people can file taxes for free through the IRS Free File Program. Additionally, if your family’s income falls below $58,000, you can receive help filing your taxes through the IRS’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites. Coloradans who qualify for help filing their taxes can visit Colorado VITA for assistance.
Visit ChildTaxCredit.gov to check your eligibility and for more information.
In March 2021, President Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act, which included an expanded CTC that will be in place for one year. This legislation expands the CTC in three primary ways for tax year 2021:
You may qualify for the full CTC if:
You have at least one child age 17 or younger, and
You are a single individual earning $75,000 per year or less, a head of household earning $112,500 or less, or a married couple earning a combined $150,000 or less.
You may qualify for a portion of the CTC if:
You have at least one child age 17 or younger, and
You are a single individual or head of household earning somewhat more than $200,000 or a married couple earning somewhat more than a combined $400,000. (The exact income cut-offs depend on how many qualifying children you have.)
If you qualify for the credit, you may receive monthly payments starting as early as July 15, 2021.
The IRS will determine whether you qualify based on your 2020 tax return (or if you have not yet filed, your 2019 return). Most taxpayers will automatically receive their payments based on information the IRS already has on file.
If you are typically a non-filer, you should file a 2020 tax return to receive the benefit. You can do that here.
The IRS has developed an online portal where you can inform the IRS of any changes since you last filed taxes, such as your number of qualifying children.
As the superintendent of Denver Public Schools, Michael Bennet saw every day how growing up in poverty shapes a child’s future in ways that are deeply unfair. That’s why Michael has been a tireless advocate for expanding the Child Tax Credit (CTC) for several years.
In 2017, Michael introduced the American Family Act with U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) to overhaul the existing CTC and create a new $300 per-month per-child credit for children under 6 years of age and a $250 per-month per-child credit for children 6 to 17 years of age, and for the first time, making the credit fully refundable, and delivering payments on a monthly basis.
In March 2021, President Joe Biden signed into law a one-year expansion of the CTC, based on Bennet’s American Family Act, in the American Rescue Plan Act. This expansion will cut child poverty in nearly half nationwide this year and benefit nearly 90 percent of Colorado children.
In his American Families Plan announced in April 2021, President Biden proposed permanent full refundability of the CTC, as well as extending the expanded CTC value and monthly payments through 2025. The President also committed to working with Congress to make the expanded CTC permanent.
Michael continues to work with the administration and his colleagues in Congress to ensure any final recovery plan includes making the entire CTC expansion permanent.
Cut poverty for Black children by 52%
In Colorado, the expanded CTC will lift 57,000 kids out of poverty and benefit more than 1 million kids statewide, including nearly 350,000 kids who have been left out of the full existing credit.
The CTC expansion will benefit 96% of families with kids—including more than 96% of families with kids in Colorado—and pump an additional $1.5 billion each year into Colorado’s economy.
94% of kids living in rural areas will benefit, including 93% of kids in Colorado’s rural communities.
Colorado Taxpayer Advocate: 303-603-4600, https://www.irs.gov/advocate/local-taxpayer-advocate
Colorado VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance): 800-906-9887, https://www.coloradovita.org/
IRS guidance: irs.gov/childtaxcredit2021
Use this calculator to see how the CTC expansion will affect your family.
The following Colorado organizations have endorsed the American Family Act: Early Learning Ventures, Early Childhood Council Leadership Alliance, Colorado Children’s Campaign, Colorado Fiscal Institute, United for a New Economy, The Bell Policy Center, Stand for Children Colorado, Community Partnership for Child Development, Peak Vista Community Health Centers, Catholic Charities of Central Colorado, Mesa County Partnership for Children and Families, and Family & Intercultural Resource Center
The following organizations have endorsed the American Family Act: Center for American Progress, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Center for Law and Social Policy, Child Care Aware of America, Children’s Defense Fund, Community Change Action, Economic Security Project, First Focus, MomsRising, National Association for the Education of Young Children, National Women’s Law Center, Niskanen Center, Service Employees International Union, Zero to Three, Child Welfare League of America, Public Advocacy for Kids, and Every Child Matters.