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Boston residents encouraged to claim their Child Tax Credit

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Mayor's Office

Mayor Kim Janey today announced a citywide push to ensure that all eligible families in Boston receive their Child Tax Credit (CTC), a newly expanded federal tax credit that experts believe could cut child poverty in half.

While most families will receive the money automatically in monthly payments from July to December, 2021, families who do not file taxes will need to take action to claim the CTC. The Mayor’s Office of Financial Empowerment is conducting outreach to these families to ensure an estimated 5,100 Boston children do not miss out on dollars crucial to their care and well-being.

“The Child Tax Credit is a precious opportunity for families to gain their financial footing and provide the best they can for their children,” said Mayor Janey. “This money can make a world of difference, whether it’s for essentials like food and diapers, quality child care, or savings for college. I urge all Boston residents to review their eligibility for the Credit, seek help from our Office of Financial Empowerment if they need it, and start planning now to make the most of this money for their families.” 

The expanded CTC is designed to defray the costs of child-rearing and child care, provide more child care options, and support return to work for those who have lost their jobs or income. To be eligible for the full CTC, married couples must earn no more than $150,000 and heads of household must earn no more than $112,500. Qualifying families will get the full CTC amount even if they owe taxes. 

The full CTC provides families with:

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

Eligible children must have a Social Security Number. 

Starting July 15, the first half of the CTC will be automatically deposited in monthly payments of $300 or $250 into the bank accounts of most eligible families. The second half of the CTC will be made available as a tax refund next year. Families that did not file a 2019 or 2020 tax return claiming the Child Tax Credit or did not share their information with the IRS to receive stimulus payments will need to claim the CTC using the Child Tax Credit Non-filer Sign-up Tool.

The Mayor’s Office of Financial Empowerment is spreading awareness of the CTC through an informational website (which includes translations in 12 languages) and is providing over-the-phone assistance through its Financial Navigators program, which can be reached at the Boston Tax Help Coalition Help Line at 617-356-8229. Partnering City departments and local community organizations are also offering assistance to those who have questions about the CTC or need help claiming it.

They include:

  • Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD)
  • Allston Brighton APAC
  • Children’s Health Watch
  • Codman Square Health Center
  • Community Labor United
  • Dorchester House
  • Greater Boston Legal Services
  • Jewish Vocational Service (JVS)
  • Mayor’s Office of Food Access
  • Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Advancement
  • Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities
  • Mayor’s Office of Women’s Advancement
  • Shah Family Foundation
  • Street Cred
  • United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley
  • Urban Edge

“The expanded Child Tax Credit will have an immediate impact on families working their way out of the vicious cycle of poverty,” said Kira Khazatsky, chief operating officer of Jewish Vocational Service (JVS). “The average increase of $2,000 annually will give these hardworking families an incredible boost that will assist them in paying for child care, transportation and education as they re-enter the job market. Without this support many parents would be left on the sidelines unable to achieve their dreams for their families.”  

"This advance payment should be a boost for low-income families with young children,” said Paul Creighton, executive director of the Allston Brighton APAC Family Service Center. “This money from Uncle Sam will assist families during the transition from COVID 2020 to post-COVID 2021.”

The Boston Tax Help Coalition, a division of the Mayor’s Office of Financial Empowerment, continues to provide free tax preparation to individuals who have yet to file their 2020 taxes. This service is available at two Boston Tax Help Coalition locations: Allston Brighton APAC and Street Cred.

Learn more about the Child Tax Credit:

The Boston Tax Help Coalition is part of the Mayor's Office of Financial Empowerment. The Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE) was created in 2014 to address racial wealth disparities and connect City residents with access to credit building programs, financial education, individualized financial coaching, and income support. Residents who seek to improve their financial stability can use these free programs to achieve economic well-being and pursue financial prosperity. OFE is also a lead partner on Boston Builds Credit, the first municipal credit building program in the United States. OFE is an affiliate of the Mayor's Office of Workforce Development and the Boston Planning & Development Agency.

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