The California Family Resource Association (CFRA) awarded $5,000 mini grants funded through the David & Lucille Packard Fund, for CFRA Member FRCs only to conduct Child Tax Credit Outreach (CTCO) through their Family Resource Centers to connect families to the Federal Child Tax Credit (CTC). The timeframe for the implementation of this grant is March 28, 2022, through June 15, 2022.
CFRA is a statewide membership association of organizations that serve children and families. CFRA members pay annual dues to receive CFRA support and resources. The purpose of CFRA is to advocate for the programs, policies, and resources that enable Family Resource Centers (FRCs) to better serve families and communities. CFRA accomplishes this by building the capacity of our member organizations, convening partners for shared learning and planning, and supporting the development of networks and coalitions to achieve greater impact.
The Child Tax Credit (CTC) has the potential to be the largest-ever one-year decrease in child poverty in the history of the United States. This historic increase in cash aid to families with young children has already made a big impact, reducing child poverty by 29% in August 2021. However, an estimated 4 million families who are eligible are not receiving these benefits because the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) does not have their information. The importance of the CTC is also demonstrated by a landmark November 2021 study in Pediatrics found that States’ total spending on public benefits was inversely associated with child abuse outcomes. For each additional $1000/person invested, child welfare involvement decreased 4.0% at the 95% confidence level.
It is the goal of this funding, referred to as the CTCO, to promote the availability of the Federal CTC through CFRA member agencies and Family Resource Centers to increase the number of families who apply for and receive their CTC. The 2022 tax season started on January 24, 2022. Families who did not receive the first half of the tax credit can claim the entire amount by filing a tax return. Families who may have missed out on last year’s advance payments can claim up to $3,600 per child through their 2021 tax returns. Families who received the advanced payments can claim up to $1,800 per child. The deadline to file a tax return is April 18, 2022, to receive the second half of the 2021 expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC). However, families may request an extension, provided that they pay the taxes that are due. Generally, low-income families do not owe taxes, but receive returns. Families who are not required to file, can file anytime during 2022 to receive the 2021 CTC. As organizers and advocates continue to push for the future of the expanded CTC, it is particularly important to make sure families receive the full benefit of the 2021 expansion and that outreach continues past the April 18, 2022 tax filing deadline