Watch CBS News

Expanded Child Tax Credit available only through the end of 2022

Low-income families eligible for expanded tax credit
Low-income families eligible for expanded tax credit 03:39

Time is running out to claim the expanded Child Tax Credit that could bring an eligible family as much as $3,600 per child under the age of 6.

The Child Tax Credit was significantly expanded in 2021 by the American Rescue Plan so families could receive up to $3,600 per child under 6 and $3,000 for those ages 6 to 17. But the changes were made for just one year, and will be reduced back to $2,000 per child in 2023.

(credit: CBS)

Most families who qualified didn't have to do anything to receive the tax credit payments – the IRS sent them to taxpayers because they qualified based on previous income tax returns, according to Gabriela Gomez with Los Angeles County's Department of Public Services.

"There are many families who typically don't file income taxes, so the IRS doesn't really know about them," she said. "So we're trying to target these families who typically don't file income taxes for whatever reason, their income is too low, and they typically don't file."

For each dependent child under the age of 6, families receive $3,600 in cash payments. For children ages 6 to 17, families will receive a $3,000 cash payment.

Gomez says the money is not counted as income, so families can still claim the Child Tax Credit without disqualifying themselves from getting public assistance benefits. And the funds can be used for whatever the family has need of – school supplies, outstanding bills, even car repairs.

"You never know how his money will benefit a family that's truly in need," she said.

For more information or to get help with filing an income tax return, visit

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.