Be Sure To Claim Your Child Tax Credit: Avoiding The CTC Tax Scams

tax credit

Even as the 2023 Child Tax Credit payments go out to beneficiaries, the IRS has repeatedly issued warnings to tax credit beneficiaries to be on the alert. This comes even as scammers try every trick in the book to divert the amount to steal personal information. 

The Child Tax Credit payments this year are nowhere near the claims last year when the expanded version of the program proved to be a great success. The expanded Child Tax Credit payments in 2022 against the 2021 tax year were one of the most successful measures initiated by the federal government. 

The expanded Child Tax Credit of 2021 was to be given as a rebate against the income tax returns submitted in the first quarter of 2022. Instead, the money went out as an advance sent to beneficiaries over six months through direct account transfers and paper stimulus checks. 

But the expanded version of the Child Tax Credit was discontinued after just a year. Consequently, the tax rebate payments have been way less this year compared to the previous year. But the Child Tax Credit amount continues to be substantial at $2,000 per child. 

Child Tax Credit Payments Targeted By Scammers

But the Child Tax Credit amount is being targeted by scammers. The IRS has warned of scams that aim to trick people into handing over money or personal information. Criminals use deadlines, like the tax credits renewal deadline, to target their victims. The tax agency has alerted Child Tax Credit customers to be alert to scams that mimic government communication and make them appear genuine to the gullible eye. 

child tax credit

Typical scam instances include texts and emails claiming an individual’s details are not up-to-date. Filers risk losing out on payments that are due to them. Scammers also sent texts and emails claiming that a direct bank transfer has not gone through and extracting valuable information from them. 

There are also instances of scammers calling up people and threatening to get them arrested if they do not immediately pay fake taxes or other dues. Scammers also claim that the intended victim’s Social Security number has been used in a fraudulent transaction. In doing so they manage to prise out valuable information from the gullible victims. 

Do Not Fall For Child Tax Credit Tax Scams

Given the volume of the Child Tax Credit payments even in its pre-pandemic version, it is natural that cybercriminals will use every given opportunity to try to convince the gullible out of their money. With the advance payments of the Child Tax Credit going out to filers, the IRS warned Americans to be alert to scammers who extract information from people through email, phone, text, and even through social media. The agency said that people should verify every bit of information so that they can get their Child Tax Credit payments safely and on time. 

The premier American tax agency has reminded Americans that it does not initiate contact with taxpayers directly through text messages, email, or through social media channels to ask for financial or personal information. 

And when it is about phone calls, it is prudent to remember that the tax agency does not send out urgent, threatening, or pre-recorded messages. For instance, if you get a voicemail informing you that an arrest warrant is out for you, you can be assured that it is not the IRS. 

The IRS relies on past tax filing to send child tax credit stimulus checks, the agency relies on 2019 or 2020 returns at the moment to automatically enroll you for the advance stimulus checks. You are not required to take additional action to be eligible for your advance Child Tax Credit payments.

If you are not required to file federal returns or haven’t given the IRS any information, you still have to log onto the IRS website. You need to provide some basic information to receive the Child Tax Credit. You can get additional information about collecting the Child Tax Credit stimulus check and protecting yourself from being the victim of fraud at the official website of the IRS.

State Child Tax Credit Assistance Programs 

The federal programs were pandemic programs. Of course, it ended when the pandemic ended. But the federal government did not consider that the economic downturn would outlast the pandemic by a long shot. The state programs including state Child Tax Credit programs, are assistance programs, and can not be said to be truly pandemic programs.

tax return Child Tax Credit 

Americans have long considered a living wage. But that has been deemed too alien and horrifying for Republican America and Corporate America. And those entrenched in Capitol Hill appear unwilling to upset the applecart. The same goes for most states, especially those with a large colored and migrant population. 

Colorado is among a growing list of states and cities that have gone ahead with bipartisan support for Child Tax Credits. The state is giving money to parents without any strings attached. 

Colorado joins a growing number of states that are moving towards a program of their own, and for once are even getting support from the champions of Corporate America, the Republicans. Last week, Colorado became the ninth state in the past two years that has guaranteed some form of Child Tax Credit to help the poorest among the parents. The law had bipartisan backing and is slated to be the most generous in the US. It will provide parents with up to $1,200 annually if their annual income is less than $35,000 per year. 

Minnesota has been more generous with families getting $1,750 if their earnings are $35,000 or below for children up to the age of seventeen. The state child tax credits are way less than the expanded child tax credit given in 2021 by the federal administration. They are unlikely to drastically have any effect on the family budget on their own. Most of the states are giving out the money as a lump sum amount instead of giving it out monthly.