Forgot to claim tax credits? Not too late for NJ residents to fix


TRENTON — The deadline for filing tax returns was Monday — but people who failed to claim their Child Tax Credit or Earned Income Tax Credit can still file amended or late returns to get the money to which they are entitled.

New Jersey Citizen Action says residents who owe no tax payments can file late returns without penalties and can apply for refunds up to three years after tax day. It runs a free tax preparation program that can help people check their eligibility.

In an online press conference, Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, D-Middlesex, said it could mean hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

“For anyone who is eligible and newly eligible under the extensions, you can still take advantage of these credits as well as the federal child care tax credit, even if tax day has passed,” Coughlin said.

The United Way of Northern New Jersey reports that as of last fall, 138,000 New Jersey families were eligible for federal child tax credits who had not received them. The credits are $3,000 or $3,600 per child, depending on their age, and add up to more than $415 million in unclaimed credits statewide.

“It’s a staggering number,” said state treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio. “These are resources that could be an essential lifeline for families struggling to put food on the table or provide school supplies or just keep a roof over their heads.”

Muoio said it was about publicizing the programs and if everyone knew about them, attendance would be 100%.

So far for 2021, more than 428,000 New Jersey earned income tax credit claims have been paid, totaling more than $330 million. But the state has expanded eligibility in recent years to include people as young as 18 and people over 65.

Renee Koubiadis, anti-poverty program director for New Jersey Citizen Action, said low-income families who don’t typically file could still benefit.

“Many New Jersey families still haven’t claimed these tax credits that could mean thousands of dollars to help them not just survive in our high-cost state, but thrive,” Koubiadis said.

Michael Symons is the Statehouse Bureau Chief for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at

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These are the best hiking spots in New Jersey

A trip to New Jersey doesn’t have to be just the beach. Our state has incredible trails, waterfalls and lakes to enjoy.

From the Pine Barrens to the Appalachian Trail to New Jersey’s hidden gems, you have plenty of options for a great hike. Hiking is a great way to spend time outdoors and enjoy nature, plus it’s a great workout.

Before you hit the trails and explore some of our listeners’ suggestions, I have some tips on hiking etiquette from the American Hiking Society.

If you descend and encounter an uphill hiker, pull to the side and give the uphill hiker some space. An uphill hiker has the right of way unless they stop to catch their breath.

Always stay on the trail, you may see side paths, unless marked as an official trail, avoid them. Going off the trail, you risk damaging the ecosystems around the trail, the plants and wildlife that live there.

You also don’t want to disturb any wildlife you encounter, just keep your distance from the wildlife and continue hiking.

Cyclists must yield to hikers and horses. Hikers should also give in to horses, but I don’t know how many horses you’ll encounter on New Jersey trails.

If you plan to take your dog on your hike, they must be on a leash and be sure to clean up all pet waste.

Finally, pay attention to the weather, if the trail is too muddy, it’s probably best to save your hike for another day.

I asked our listeners for their suggestions on the best hiking spots in New Jersey, check out their suggestions:

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