The central theses:

  • Approximately 159,000 children in Georgia live with families at risk of missing out on Extended Child Tax Withholding (CTC) and other economic relief payments.
  • October 15 is the deadline to either file taxes or fill out an IRS-approved non-filing form for the CTC’s monthly advance payments; After that, families will still be able to file their information with the IRS, but will have to wait until 2022 to claim their lump-sum payments.
  • The monthly child allowance has already had a positive effect on families’ economic security.
  • In addition, non-filing families are also entitled to other tax benefits such as the Economic Impact Payments when submitting their information to the IRS.
  • Community groups play an important role in connecting families to tax benefits.

September 15 marked the third monthly payment of the Extended Child Tax Credit (CTC), however approx. 159,000 children in families all over Georgia, including approximately 59,000 newborns living in low-income families, are at risk of ineligible for extended credit or other economic relief payments because the families have not filed taxes or an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) simplified form for no – Registrants have filled out. Eligible families who have not yet applied for the CTC have until October 15 to either file a tax return or fill out a form to access monthly prepayments.

After that, families can still submit their information to the IRS, but will have to wait for the CTC lump sum until 2022. CTC services have already provided much-needed stability to Georgia families with children still grappling with the economic fallout from the COVID pandemic. Government, local and private agencies should continue their efforts to ensure that all eligible families have access to this powerful poverty reduction benefit.

The American rescue plan, which was passed last March, temporarily expanded the CTC. Under the law, CTC credits have increased from $ 2,000 per year per child to $ 3,000 per year for each child ages 6-17, and to $ 3,600 per year for each child under 6 in full payments , and all eligible families can receive half of their balance in monthly prepayments.

The first CTC payments have already had a noticeable impact on families’ economic security. Washington University’s Social Policy Institute, when analyzing the US Census Household Pulse Survey data, found that in Georgia, Food insecurity among eligible families for the CTC decreased from 18.3 percent to 13.7 percent after the first two CTC payments. Additional analysis by Columbia University shows that at the national level, the monthly child poverty rate decreased from 15.8 percent in June to 11.9 percent in July after the first CTC payment. The center for budget and political priorities Estimates that permanent expansion of the CTC would reduce child poverty in Georgia by 46 percent and poverty for Latinx, Black and Asian children by 52 percent, 46 percent and 37 percent, respectively.

Non-notifier families could get more than the CTC by submitting their information to the IRS. You are also entitled to the last three Economic Impact Payments (commonly known as Stimulus Checks). If they file their taxes in full, they may also have access to the income tax credit. That’s thousands of dollars for families with very little or no income who could help them pay rent, fix a car, pay off debts, or buy other essentials.

However, there are many reasons why some eligible families have not yet received the CTC and other economic assistance payments. In the past, families with very low incomes did not have to apply. You may not know that they can file taxes or that they are entitled to the benefits. Although the IRS created a simplified form for non-applicants, families can still struggle collect any required documentation or use technology to authenticate their identity in order to complete the form. Code for America’s IRS-approved mobile app addresses several of these concerns, but families may still need help using the portal. Limited internet access, lack of transport to tax relief offices, disability and Language barriers can make access to the CTC even more difficult.

Critical funds are at stake for families on the lowest incomes. Government, religious, and private institutions can all play a role in informing and assisting families who do not have access to the CTC, as many of them are uniquely placed to connect with very low-income families. For example, the Georgia Department of Family and Children’s Services can provide targeted assistance to families with low-income children who are likely not to have filed taxes. Community groups, religious and faith-based organizations, and direct service providers can potentially reach families who do not receive public benefits or are otherwise overlooked by government agencies. As trusted resources in the community, these groups can educate families about benefits and help them gain access to the CTC.

It’s not too late to reach out to families and help them file taxes or fill out a non-filer form. Below are some useful resources to aid organization outreach and registration efforts, including strategies for addressing common challenges for families with very little or no income filing experience with the IRS.

Educational materials for government, local, private, and religious organizations

Families help submit information to the IRS

  • The IRS Child Tax Credit Non-Filer Sign-Up Tool is a simplified form to sign up for Child Tax Credits and Economic Impact Payments without filing a tax return:
  • Code for America, working with governments at all levels to develop accessible digital tools, has created an easy-to-use portal for non-applicants to submit information to the IRS. This tool can be useful for non-filers who have had difficulty using the IRS interfaces in the past. If you have any questions, tax advisors and individuals can virtually connect with an IRS-certified volunteer to file taxes for free:
  • Call 211 for live assistance with general CTC questions or search for local resources online. Find out more here: