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Cash & Expenses

Tax credit for families with children

Child Tax Credit (CTC) | Internal Revenue Service (IRS), NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP)

1. How it Works

The Child Tax Credit (CTC) provides financial support to families to help raise their children. When you claim this credit when filing a tax return, you can lower the taxes you owe and potentially increase your refund.

  • For the 2021 tax year, the CTC is worth:
    • up to $3,000 for each child age 6-17
    • up to $3,600 for each child age 0-5
  • File a 2021 tax return to claim the CTC.
    • If you got advance payments of the CTC in 2021, file a tax return in 2022 to claim any remaining CTC payment that is owed to you.
    • The IRS sent letter 6419 stating how much of the CTC you got from advance payments. You will need this letter when filing your return.
  • Your family can be eligible even if you did not earn income or owe any income taxes.
    • If you don’t have to file a tax return, you may still claim the CTC for 2021 by completing a simplified tax return on
  • The CTC does not count as income and will not affect your eligibility for public benefits.

2. Determine your eligibility

To be eligible for the credit in the 2021 tax year, you should be able to answer yes to these questions:

  1. Do you have a child or dependent who is all of these?
    • under 18 years old
    • a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or a permanent resident?
    • and has a Social Security Number?
  2. Did your child or dependent live with you for over half of the year?
  3. Did you claim your child or dependent on your tax return?
    • These may include your stepchild, adopted child, foster child, niece or nephew, grandchild, or great-grandchild.
    • They may also include siblings, step-siblings, or half-siblings that live with you.

Take a short survey to see if you might be eligible for this or 30 other programs.

Am I Eligible?

3. What you need to include

It’s important to include the right documents when you apply. Your documents show whether the program is right for you.

This page can help you choose the right documents for your application.

If you want to receive your refund through direct deposit, you will need banking information (voided check and/or savings deposit slip). You should bring a copy of last year’s return, if it is available. The income documents listed are necessary to file your taxes.

Proof of who you are

For each person applying, any one document:

  • Driver license or official photo ID
  • Social Security Card for dependents
  • Social Security Card or ITIN

Proof of your income

Next section:

4. How to Apply

4. How to apply

Here are your options.

Apply online

File a 2021 tax return to claim the CTC. If you’re not required to file a tax return, you may still claim the CTC for 2021 by completing a simplified tax return on

If you earned $72,000 or less in 2021, you can file your taxes for free with NYC Free Tax Prep. IRS-certified VITA/TCE volunteer preparers are available to help you file.

  • Virtual Tax Prep: A preparer can help you file your tax return during a 60-90 minute virtual call.
  • Assisted Self-Prep: Complete your tax return on your own. A preparer will be available by phone or email to answer your questions.

Apply in person

Come back to it later.
We can send you a link to this page to help you get back to it when you’re ready.

More ways to get help with this program

Visit the websites

Learn more about other tax credits from the NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection.

Call 311

Ask for tax preparation assistance.

Find a VITA or TCE location

Call 800-906-9887 to find the nearest Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) or Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE).

Last Updated Thursday, June 16th, 3:28pm

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