City Extends Free Tax Prep Services to Help New York Families Claim the Advance Child Tax Credit
NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio and Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) Acting Commissioner Sandra Abeles today announced that the City is expanding post-tax season NYC Free Tax Prep services to help New Yorkers who need to file their taxes or use the IRS’ non-filer tool to claim the Advance Child Tax Credit. As an investment in the long-term recovery from the pandemic, the American Rescue Plan made changes to the Child Tax Credit so families get half of the fully refundable credit—worth up to $3,600 per child—as monthly payments in 2021 and the other half as a part of their refund in 2022. Most families will automatically receive the advance payments, but 250,000+ New York City families with more than 400,000 children need to sign up with the IRS to receive the Credit. DCWP and multiple partner agencies and organizations are also working together to raise awareness of the Credit and available resources, and will be conducting targeted outreach in neighborhoods with a high number of non-filers.
“The Child Tax Credit is a radical investment in working families. This money could help you pay for food, clothing, rent, a mortgage, save for the future and more,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “But if you haven’t received your payments yet, you need to act. We can help you get the money you deserve into your hands. Visit nyc.gov/taxprep today.”
“Whether you had a new baby, a change in income, don’t make enough to need to file taxes, are a recipient of SSDI, don’t have a Social Security Number but your children do—whatever the reason, the City is here to help you claim this Credit,” said DCWP Acting Commissioner Sandra Abeles. “Don’t leave the Advance Child Tax Credit sitting unclaimed—it’s yours to help with your expenses. We can answers your questions and help you file, open a bank account, and budget the new money so please visit nyc.gov/TaxPrep or call 311 today if you didn’t receive your credit yet.”
The Advance Child Tax Credits payments began on July 15, 2021 and most New Yorkers do not need to do anything to receive the payments. However, New Yorkers who have not submitted information to the IRS either file their taxes or enter their information with the IRS’ Child Tax Credit Non-Filer Sign-Up Tool. In the coming weeks, NYC Free Tax Prep will be adding multiple options to file for free, including virtual, drop-off and in-person services.
Income eligibility varies but, in general, families with dependents who earned $68,000 or less in 2020 and individuals who earned $48,000 or less can use NYC Free Tax Prep. Filers should check the eligibility requirements and choose the filing option that is best for them. Anyone who lives or works in New York City can use NYC Free Tax Prep. NYC Free Tax Prep can also help those who don’t need to file complete the IRS’ non-filer tool.
For more information about the Advance Child Tax Credit—including a multilingual flyer and poster—and NYC Free Tax Prep, visit nyc.gov/TaxPrep or call 311. In addition to targeted outreach in neighborhoods with the highest number of non-filers, DCWP has distributed resources to over 1,500 community based organizations, community boards, city, state and federal elected officials, consulates, libraries and sister agencies. DCWP is also conducting trainings for City agencies, partner and nonprofit organizations that interact directly with eligible New Yorkers who want to learn more about the Credit and how it can make a difference for families in NYC.
DCWP encourages the estimated 301,700 NYC households who don’t have a bank account, which is the fastest and easiest way to receive payments, to make an appointment at an NYC Financial Empowerment Center or visit DCWP’s Open an Account webpage for information about finding a safe, affordable bank account. Anyone who needs help opening a bank account, budgeting how to spend and save the Credit, reducing debt, strengthening their credit score, or more can make an appointment for free, one-on-one financial counseling in person or by phone with one of DCWP’s Financial Empowerment Centers. To make an appointment, visit nyc.gov/TalkMoney or call 311.
“We have begun delivering the monthly payments of the Advance Child Tax Credit to millions of families with children,” said IRS Wage & Investment Commissioner Ken Corbin, who also serves as the agency’s Chief Taxpayer Experience Officer. “There is also a significant amount of information and tools on our website, IRS.gov, to help more people easily gain access to this important credit, particularly eligible families who don’t normally file a tax return. We thank our partners in the New York City area for their efforts to reach families who can benefit from these payments.”
“Under the American Rescue Plan, payments from the Child Tax Credit will drive historic reductions in child poverty, giving families cash to help them meet pressing needs – and evidence shows that such support in turn leads to improved health, better educational outcomes, and higher future incomes, among other benefits,” said Matthew Klein, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity. “Thank you to all of the City agencies and community partners working hard to make sure that all eligible families are signed up to receive the payments intended for them. And let’s make sure that the American Rescue Plan’s Child Tax Credit becomes permanent policy!”
“This is income families have needed for a long time. We know it leads to benefits throughout a child’s life and it empowers parents to determine what they and their families need,” said Megan Tackney, Executive Director of the Children’s Cabinet.
“As the City’s public health care system, we provide quality healthcare to all NYC families regardless of their ability to pay, and today healthcare must include addressing the social factors that influence patients’ health and well-being,” said NYC Health + Hospitals Chief Population Health Officer, Nichola Davis, MD. “By partnering with NYC Free Tax Prep to connect thousands of our patients to more money through the Advance Child Tax Credit, we know that we can help improve the financial stability of families with young children, which in turn can improve their health and reduce the unfair gaps in New Yorkers’ health that result from structural inequities.”
“The newly expanded federal child tax credit will have a profound impact on eradicating child poverty in New York City. It could elevate as many as 150,000 children out of poverty in New York City alone, and that is why we are partnering with City and state agencies to invest additional funding and capacity to support the work of community partner nonprofits identifying qualifying parents so that no eligible New York family is left behind. As we work to cut the city’s child poverty rate by half, we will continue to call upon state and federal officials to expand eligibility for the child tax credit and to make the benefit permanent for qualifying New Yorkers,” said Sarah Oltmans, Chief of Grant Strategy at Robin Hood.
“The expansion of the Child Tax Credit is a monumental step in combating child poverty. Prior to the pandemic, more than 800,000 children in New York State lived in poverty, threatening their basic safety, well-being and development. This number has only grown since March 2020. This sorely needed monthly infusion of funds will make a world of difference for families after being disproportionately hit by falling incomes and job loss during COVID-19. However, one year of relief is simply not enough. We strongly believe that to be successful in our efforts to end child poverty and advance racial equity in America, we must ensure that these enhanced benefits are made permanent,” said Jennifer March, Executive Director of Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York.
“The new, expanded Child Tax Credit will reach a universe of New Yorkers who could really use the assistance,” said Irene Baldwin, Executive Director, Ariva. “Here at Ariva so many of our clients are low income or are immigrants and ITIN holders. Tax reforms like this will go far in supporting the financial stability of Bronx residents and we will do what we can to make sure everyone here who is eligible, receives the credit.”
“The increase in the Child Tax Credit is transformative to the families we serve,” said Eileen Torres, Executive Director of BronxWorks. “As the Bronx is the poorest congressional district in the U.S., the monthly payments will help ease the burden for children living in poverty. The Child Tax Credit will provide much-needed relief for essentials such as groceries, housing, and clothing, and perhaps provide some opportunity for family activities. BronxWorks staff is a trusted resource for our community members that may need assistance in determining their eligibility and ensuring they receive the credit.”
“We at COJO Flatbush strongly support the changes to the Child Tax Credit,” said Louis P. Welz, CEO, COJO Flatbush. “Receiving payments throughout the year will strengthen families and enhance their quality of life, which is an integral part of our working mission. We look forward to helping the program achieve that goal.”
“Our team at Single Stop is poised to help New Yorkers who have not yet accessed the Advance Child Tax Credit. It’s real money—every month—that will help to secure the economic wellbeing of the city’s families and children. Connecting New Yorkers to unclaimed resources that can be life-changing is our mission. We urge families who haven’t yet filed or aren’t required to file to seek assistance from NYC Free Tax Prep,” said Grant Collins, Sr. Vice President, Workforce Development at The Fedcap Group (the parent company of Single Stop).
“The expanded financial assistance from the Child Tax Credit will empower low-income Staten Island households with dependents to be able to meet their own needs. This monthly assistance will help families pay for rent, utilities, fresh food, healthcare, clothes, and school supplies. When the children in our community flourish, the whole community benefits,” said Rev. Karen Jackson, Project Hospitality, Director of Community Initiatives.
“Urban Upbound is proud to be a part of a true poverty breaking initiative that can change the lives of millions of struggling families. As we continue to educate our population on this valuable credit we’re anxious to see the impact on so money lives,” said Bishop Mitchell Taylor, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Urban Upbound.