Puerto Ricans Can Now Easily Claim Child Stimulus Check Using New Online Tool

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The expanded child tax credit expired in December, but those who didn’t receive the monthly payment last year can claim the full amount this year. A nonprofit tech organization has now made its user-friendly sign-up tool available to Puerto Ricans to make it easier for them to claim their child stimulus checks.

How Puerto Ricans Can Claim Their Child Stimulus Check

Code for America works with community leaders and governments to deliver equitable, accessible digital tools and services. It has now extended its free, mobile-friendly GetCTC sign-up portal to Puerto Ricans, making it easier for them to claim their child tax credit.

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The tool's launch follows a recent IRS announcement for Puerto Ricans. In May, the IRS stated that most Puerto Ricans would be able to claim their CTC with a simple return, even if they weren’t required to file taxes last year.

Code for America launched its tool on Thursday in collaboration with the White House and the Treasury Department. This tool is available in English and Spanish.

Puerto Ricans will be able to claim their full payments this year if they weren’t eligible for the advance monthly payments in 2021. Eligible residents will be able to claim $3,600 if their child was five years or younger at the end of 2021 and $3,000 if the child was between six and 17 years old at the end of the year.

Puerto Ricans have until April 15, 2025 to claim the CTC. A separate GetCTC tool is available to mainland U.S. residents to claim the child tax credit or recovery rebate credit. You can visit the IRS website for more information on the requirements for eligibility, including for Puerto Ricans and other U.S. residents.

Using The Code For America Tool Is Easy

Prior to this tool's release, eligible residents had to use Form 1040-PR to file their return. Filling out the form is a burdensome process, forcing many to use tax preparation software or the IRS's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) services.

On the other hand, using the tool is easy. People just need to enter their basic personal information, such as name, Social Security Number, number of children and address, to claim their child tax credit.

A program director at Code for America estimates that it would usually take a user about 10 to 15 minutes on a mobile phone to complete the process using their tool. A demo of how to use the tool is also available in English and Spanish. In 2021, more than 115,000 families used the Code for America tool to claim their tax benefits.

"Now, this will make it far easier for potentially hundreds of thousands of people living in Puerto Rico to sign up for the Child Tax Credit through an easy-to-use digital tool that ensures families are getting the flexible cash that they are due,” said David Newville, Senior Program Director for Tax Benefits at Code for America, in a statement.