The IRS released new guidelines on May 6 for residents of Puerto Rico on how to file and claim child tax credit payments that have been approved by the American Rescue Plan Act.
The announcement comes as the Biden administration reinvigorates efforts to reach families across the United States whose incomes were below the federal tax filing threshold.
As part of these efforts, the White House has partnered with the nonprofit Code for America to reach Americans eligible for the credits via email, mail and text.
A new portal
Code for America worked with the White House and the Treasury Department to create a free online portal for Americans with children who have not filed taxes. The portal can be found at www.GetCTC.org and www.ChildTaxCredit.org.
The tool was first launched in the fall of last year and more than 115,000 families have successfully used the portal to claim $440 million in tax benefits. However, the tool was not available during tax filing season.
IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig stressed the importance of Puerto Rican residents claiming the tax credits to which they are fully entitled under President Joe Biden’s flagship COVID stimulus package.
“It’s important for residents of Puerto Rico to know that beginning with the 2021 tax year, having only one child qualifies you for the child tax credit,” Rettig said.
Under the American Rescue Plan Act, the $2,000 child tax credit has been increased to $3,600 for children 5 and under in 2021 and $3,000 for children ages 6 to 17 years old in 2021.
How to claim
If you are a resident of Puerto Rico, you will need to file your 2021 federal income tax return.
Residents who did not earn enough to file their federal taxes can still claim the child tax credit, whether in Puerto Rico or the continental United States.
By making the credit fully refundable, the American Rescue Plan Act allows citizens to claim the full credit for 2021 even without paying US income taxes or Social Security taxes.
The credit can then be claimed using Form 1040-PR, Form 1040-SS, US Self-Employment Tax Return, Form 1040, US Personal Income Tax Return , Form 1040-SR, and US Senior Income Tax Return.
Residents can claim the credit until April 15, 2025 — the same deadline for all other U.S. taxpayers.
Are you eligible?
Married couples filing their taxes jointly will be eligible for the tax credit as long as their income is less than $400,000.
Single filers and those filing as head of household will qualify with income below $200,000.
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher and journalist based in New York. Reporting from the UK, Europe and the US, it strives to analyze and understand left and right radicalisation, and reports on Western government approaches to pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and offer pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.