Where Are Families Most at Risk of Missing Out on the Expanded Child Tax Credit?

Those with the most to gain may be missing out on expanded benefits

The American Rescue Plan Act significantly expanded the child tax credit (CTC) for 2021, but according to the Treasury Department, as many as 2.3 million children might miss out on benefits because their families did not file income taxes in 2019 or 2020. Many of these families earned too little to file a tax return and thus have the most to gain from the expanded CTC. 

This tool maps where children in these families are most likely to live, which can help inform policymakers and community advocates working to connect eligible families to needed benefits.

 

How the expanded child tax credit works

Under the American Rescue Plan Act, families with children under age 6 are eligible for an annual credit of up to $3,600 per child, and families with children ages 6 to 17 are eligible for an annual credit of up to $3,000 per child. (Prior to the plan, the maximum CTC was $2,000 per child, and many low-income families did not qualify for it.) 

Families can receive up to half of the expanded CTC in monthly installments from July through December and the rest when they file their taxes next spring. Currently, both the expanded credit and monthly payment option are only available for tax year 2021.

Families who have not received monthly payments yet (because they did not file taxes in 2019 and 2020 or because they did not claim an economic impact payment through the IRS’s nonfiler tool) can sign up for the child tax credit through getctc.org.

Top 50 zip codes with the highest number of children at risk of missing the expanded CTC

Zip code City State Number of children
08701 Lakewood NJ 9,407
11219 Brooklyn NY 6,056
10977 Spring Valley NY 4,710
10952 Monsey NY 4,313
10950 Monroe NY 4,251
11368 Corona NY 3,656
90011 Los Angeles CA 3,269
11204 Brooklyn NY 3,207
11206 Brooklyn NY 2,838
11230 Brooklyn NY 2,600
11218 Brooklyn NY 2,321
11205 Brooklyn NY 2,185
11220 Brooklyn NY 2,064
90044 Los Angeles CA 1,926
11211 Brooklyn NY 1,863
30093 Norcross GA 1,798
90003 Los Angeles CA 1,735
10472 Bronx NY 1,717
90057 Los Angeles CA 1,664
93307 Bakersfield CA 1,647
90037 Los Angeles CA 1,633
11691 Far Rockaway NY 1,551
11223 Brooklyn NY 1,522
91331 Pacoima CA 1,515
37211 Nashville TN 1,513
11210 Brooklyn NY 1,497
30044 Lawrenceville GA 1,483
93033 Oxnard CA 1,481
37013 Antioch TN 1,478
93535 Lancaster CA 1,477
91402 Panorama City CA 1,473
90001 Los Angeles CA 1,459
90201 Bell Gardens CA 1,456
11249 Brooklyn NY 1,440
94565 Pittsburg CA 1,437
10467 Bronx NY 1,406
10458 Bronx NY 1,392
11373 Elmhurst NY 1,391
20783 Hyattsville MD 1,379
11214 Brooklyn NY 1,367
90022 Los Angeles CA 1,365
10456 Bronx NY 1,292
10468 Bronx NY 1,265
11213 Brooklyn NY 1,265
85301 Glendale AZ 1,263
85009 Phoenix AZ 1,244
10701 Yonkers NY 1,211
10457 Bronx NY 1,210
92335 Fontana CA 1,207
11212 Brooklyn NY 1,205

 

Further reading

Tax Policy Center Briefing Book: What is the child tax credit?

The Child Tax Credit Grows Up to Lift Millions of Children Out of Poverty

Delivering Tax Benefits to People Who Are Experiencing Homelessness

Keeping the Monthly Child Tax Credit Coming, Limiting Risk of Overpayments

IRS Set to Deliver Advance Monthly Payments: Needs Ability to Update Bank Information

How Increasing the Federal EITC and CTC Could Affect State Taxes

An Expanded Child Tax Credit Would Reduce Poverty to Below 10 Percent in Nearly All States

Expanding the Child Tax Credit Could Lift Millions of Children out of Poverty

Last updatedSeptember 27, 2021