Schools and Child Tax Credit Outreach

You can access the following schools and Child Tax Credit guidance as a Google doc here.

The 2021 Child Tax Credit expansion provides a historic opportunity to reduce child poverty in the United States by more than 40 percent. Nearly every family is eligible to receive the expanded Child Tax Credit this year, including families who haven’t filed a tax return and families who don’t have recent income.

Each qualifying household can get up to $3,600 for each child under age 6 and $3,000 for each child between 6 and 17. The credit is not a loan, and it does not change eligibility for public benefits. Families can receive half of their new credit in 2021 and the remaining half in 2022 when they file a tax return.

While most families will receive advance CTC payments automatically (these are called “advance payments” because they come before next year’s tax filing deadline), roughly 4 million or more children are in families who are considered non-filers and will need help signing up.

Schools have a unique opportunity to reach parents and guardians for CTC outreach. All levels of administration from principals and superintendents to guidance counselors and teachers can play a role in bringing millions of dollars in much needed support to the most vulnerable families.

Here are five ways schools can engage CTC outreach efforts.

  1. Host CTC awareness events. Help parents in your schools become CTC ambassadors in their community by introducing the credit and sharing resources for help to get it. Use the CTC FAQs to answer questions that arise.
  2. Provide in-person spaces for parents to sign up. Some parents may not have access to technology or secure Wi-Fi. Provide a space at school with computers or tablets and direct parents to GetCTC.org to file. Alternatively, provide parents with Internet access through a hotspot so that they can access GetCTC.org on their own personal devices. Print out the CTC update portal instructions for parents to look up their CTC.
  3. Include CTC messaging in parent communications. Send newsletters or emails to parents alerting them about the credit and how to get it. Include flyers or postcards in mailings. Use multilingual materials available in Arabic, Chinese, French, Spanish, and Vietnamese. Record a hold message for parents calling the school.
  4. Post CTC information on social media. Use this social media toolkit to share information about the credit on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. And use this multilingual social media toolkit to share content in Arabic, Chinese, French, Spanish, and Vietnamese.
  5. Train teachers and guidance counselors to be CTC advocates. Use these resources to train teachers and guidance counselors who are interested in answering questions about the CTC and helping parents file on GetCTC.
For additional resources to support CTC outreach activities, visit: www.taxoutreach.org/coronavirus.

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