Get the Child Tax Credit

Archived as of August 2022. See our latest information here.

Updated April 2022

Parents: Get the money that belongs to you.

File your taxes this year, even if you normally don't, to get your cash benefit of up to $3,600 per child.

There are multiple free options to file a tax return this year:

If you earn less than $66,000

You can use GetYourRefund.org to file for free with an IRS-certified tax preparer.

  • Get your full Child Tax Credit, stimulus payments, Earned Income Tax Credit, and other state tax credits
  • Includes IRS-certified VITA tax team, ITIN application assistance, and chat support
  • Filing years: 2021-2018
  • Length of time to file: 2-3 weeks
  • Required information: Photo of Social Security Card or ITIN paperwork; official tax documents

If you earn less than $73,000

You can use GetYourRefund.org to file for free on your own with free chat support.

  • Get your full Child Tax Credit, stimulus payments, Earned Income Tax Credit, and other state tax credits
  • Includes chat support
  • Filing years: 2021
  • Length of time to file: 45 minutes
  • Required information: Social Security Number or ITIN; official tax documents

If you need in-person assistance

You can look up a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program near you.

The Child Tax Credit will not affect your immigration status. Click here to learn more about immigrants and the Child Tax Credit.

You will need either a Social Security Number (SSN) or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). GetYourRefund.org may be able to help you apply for an ITIN. Click here to learn more about ITINs and how to apply. (Español: Cómo aplicar para un Número de Identificación Personal del Contribuyente, ITIN).

About the Child Tax Credit

Many families with children can receive a much higher child tax credit this year.

The child tax credit for 2021 is:

  • $3,600 per child under age 6
  • $3,000 per child age 6-17

This amount will phase out for higher incomes (see below). Learn more at the federal government's new website about the child tax credit, childtaxcredit.gov.

How will families receive this?

  • You can receive half of your total credit as monthly payments between July–December 2021.
    • These advance monthly payments will be up to $300 per child under age 6, and $250 per child age 6-17.
    • There will be six monthly payments total, which are scheduled to be deposited on the 15th of each month.
  • You can claim the other half in your 2021 tax return (which you’ll file in 2022).

What could this look like?

  • Imagine a family with three kids: a newborn, a 2-year-old, and a 7-year-old.
  • Their total child tax credit could be $10,200 (if their income is under the limit).
  • This family could receive $850/month between July–December 2021. (This adds up to half of the total credit, or $5,100.)
  • The family could then claim the remaining half, $5,100, on their tax return filed in 2022.

The credit will begin to phase out for:

  • $75,000 for single filers
  • $112,500 for head-of-household returns
  • $150,000 for joint returns

What’s different this year? The American Rescue Plan changes major aspects of the child tax credit for 2021:

  • The credit amount is higher (up from $2,000).
  • 17-year-old children are included.
  • The credit is fully “refundable,” ensuring that even the lowest income families can receive the full credit.
  • Eligible families can receive half of the credit as advance payments, unless you opt out.

“These changes are estimated to help over 300,000 children in Hawai‘i who currently don’t qualify for the full tax credit,” according to Senator Brian Schatz.

Download and share these social media graphics. Tag us @HCAN_HI or “Hawaiʻi Children’s Action Network” on Facebook!

 

 

Outreach resources

Free training: Help parents file taxes for free and get cash benefits 

This training by Code For America on March 23, 2022 was specially organized for Hawaiʻi organizations.

Flyer: GetYourRefund FAQs (PDF)

Flyer: Had a baby in 2020 or 2021? (PDF)

Download and share these social media graphics

Tag us @HCAN_HI or “Hawaiʻi Children’s Action Network” on Facebook!

GetYourRefund Outreach and Navigator Resources

FAQs and myths about claiming the CTC and stimulus payments (PDF)

Key points

  • To get the Child Tax Credit you will need to provide the Social Security Numbers of your children, and you'll need a SSN or ITIN. You can claim the Child Tax Credit even if you have little to no income.
  • Generally, the children in your family qualify for the Child Tax Credit if they are under 18 and live with you most of the time.

Information about ITINs

Click here for our archived information about GetCTC.org.