March 2021 marked a historic moment: the American Rescue Plan became law and expanded the Child Tax Credit. The expansion cut child poverty nearly in half—and was the largest child tax credit in American history.
The American Rescue Plan expanded who was eligible to receive the Child Tax Credit’s cash payments and provided advance, automatic monthly payments. Making direct, flexible cash more accessible—and thus, equitable—helps close wealth gaps that have been widening for years due to systemic racism. But the expansion could not have achieved its full potential without reaching families with low or no income, who traditionally do not file taxes at all.
At Code for America, we believe that access to cash benefits should be equitable and inclusive. Only when financial stability is guaranteed to everyone will we reach true economic justice.
Flexible cash—meaning money that individuals and families decide how to spend for themselves—is one of the best ways to empower people toward financial stability. Cash support helps people provide for their basic needs, find and keep living wage jobs, and handle emergencies as they arise.
To streamline access to the expanded CTC—and to COVID stimulus payments—Code for America launched GetCTC, a simplified tax filing tool for families who are not required to file taxes. GetCTC made it easy for families with low or no income to get the flexible cash they deserve. The portal was free, mobile-friendly, and available in English and Spanish.
Due to the expiration of the expanded CTC and stimulus payments, GetCTC was sunsetted at the end of 2022.
Read the latest news about GetCTC
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