36 million families are getting a new stimulus payment this week

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Yahoo Entertainment 12 July, 2021 - 12:22pm 5 views

When will I get my child tax credit check?

Child tax credit money comes in three days. Yes, you can track your check's delivery, but here's more information about the IRS service. Child tax credit payments will be direct deposited or mailed out on Thursday. The first child tax credit payments are only three days away. CNETCan you track your child tax credit payments online? Here's what we know

When do we get Child Tax Credit 2021?

The IRS will begin disbursing advance Child Tax Credit payments on July 15. After that, payments will be disbursed on a monthly basis through December 2021. For more information regarding how advance Child Tax Credit payments are disbursed, see Topic E: Advance Payment Process of the Child Tax Credit. irs.gov2021 Child Tax Credit and Advance Child Tax Credit Payments — Topic A: General Information

Is the child tax credit coming in July?

Parents who filed taxes in 2019 and/or 2020 and meet the income requirements will automatically start receiving advance Child Tax Credit payments on July 15 or soon after. CBS ChicagoChild Tax Credit: When Will Your Check Come?

Experts say the array of government initiatives has helped stem financial hardship for millions of Americans. Much of the aid is directed to low- and middle-income households, who are more vulnerable to job and income losses. For example, families with children under 17 will soon be able to tap expanded tax credits for child care and other expenses, enabling parents to return to the workforce. 

The stimulus aid is having an impact: 28% of households in mid-June reported difficulty in paying their expenses over the previous week — down from a peak of 38% in December, according to an analysis of Census data from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. 

The programs offer significant financial help. Together, they can provide a low-income working family with two children under the age of 6 with as much as $40,000 in benefits through a combination of direct cash payments and tax credits. 

To be sure, not all families will qualify for all available stimulus aid. But for people in financial distress, even more modest levels of assistance can make a meaningful difference. Below is a roundup of available programs created through several stimulus bills passed during the pandemic.

The IRS has sent three rounds of stimulus checks that were tied to household income and number of children. Each round offered different payment amounts and eligibility requirements. But millions of families qualified for all three, which entitled an eligible family of four with two children under 17 years old to a total of $11,400 in direct payments.

To be sure, most of this money has already been paid out. But the IRS in June said it is still sending out stimulus checks from the latest round, which provided $1,400 for each eligible adult and child. It's also still making what are known as "plus-up" payments, additional money for households that didn't receive all of the funds they are entitled to. 

The latter issue could occur if a family had a child last year, for example. That's because the IRS was sending out payments before many families had filed their 2020 tax returns — in which case the agency reviewed eligibility based on 2019 tax returns, which wouldn't reflect the new birth. 

The IRS is continuing to process tax returns. It has a backlog of 35 million returns, which means some households may be in line for additional payments.

If you haven't received a stimulus check you believe you are qualified for or got less than you should have, the IRS advises filing a 2020 tax return and claim the Recovery Rebate Credit. That is a line on the Form 1040 that allows you to claim one or both of the first two checks. 

Filing a 2020 tax return will also allow people to qualify for the third round of stimulus aid, the IRS notes. 

Another major stimulus program that could impact as many as 36 million households is the expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC), which will provide $3,600 for each child under 6 and $3,000 for children ages 6 to 17. The CTC has been around since the 1990s, but President Joe Biden's American Rescue Plan has expanded it and added cash payments. 

Some anti-poverty advocates believe it could provide a massive boost to household finances, even lifting more than 4 million children out of poverty, because the measure will start depositing monthly checks into bank accounts on July 15. 

The CTC works by providing half of the credit in cash payments over six months, from July through December. In other words, a family with one child under 6 will receive the $3,600 credit, with $1,800 paid in cash over the next six months — or $300 per month. 

That means a family of four with two children under 6 will receive $3,600 through December, or $600 per month. The remainder of the CTC will be claimed as a tax credit when people file their taxes in early 2022. 

People can check if they will receive the payments and update their bank account information through the Child Tax Credit Update Portal on the IRS website.

Like the CTC, the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) has been around for years. But the American Rescue Plan expanded the benefit, which is geared to low- and middle-income households. For instance, single taxpayers without kids need to earn less than about $21,000 to qualify, while married couples with three children need to have annual income of less than about $57,400.

The American Rescue Plan expanded the size of the credit and changed some of the guidelines, which means more people will qualify for the tax credit this year.

The maximum amount of the credit also was increased this year, which means single taxpayers without children can receive $1,502 in 2021 instead of about $500 previously. Low- or moderate-income families with three or more kids will receive the biggest EITC, at more than $6,700 per household.

The stimulus bill also expanded the age eligibility for 2021, with the minimum age reduced from 25 to 19, while former foster children and homeless youth can claim the credit if they are 18 instead of 25. 

The EITC has also temporarily waived its upper age limit. That means people who are 65 or older can claim the credit on their 2021 taxes. 

This program hasn't received as much attention as the expanded Child Tax Credit, but the Child and Dependent Care tax credit could offer a huge benefit to working families in the current tax year. The Child and Dependent Care credit is aimed at helping families that need to pay for child care in order to allow parents to work. 

The American Rescue Plan changed the credit in several ways:

There are income limits for this expanded tax credit, however, which means some upper-income families may not receive all the benefits. For instance, households earning over $125,000 will be phased out of the ability to claim 50% of child care expenses, with households earning more than $438,000 annually completely phased out, the IRS says.

This is a tax credit that you'll include on your 2021 tax return provided you meet the eligibility requirements. That means taxpayers won't see the benefit until they file their returns early next year, with some potentially receiving a larger tax refund. 

Low-income households and those that suffered income losses due to the pandemic may qualify for a $50 monthly discount on their broadband bill. 

The Emergency Broadband Benefit program, run by the Federal Communications Commission, aims to connect households to jobs and remote schooling, among other services. The program is open for applications on the FCC website

Households can qualify in a number of ways, such as participation in an assistance program like food stamps or if they lost income due to the pandemic and had annual income last year of less than $99,000 for single taxpayers and below $198,000 for joint filers. 

The food stamp program was also expanded during the pandemic, offering larger benefits to households who qualify as well a new program created for children who might have missed in-school meals given the widespread switch to remote schooling. 

The American Rescue Plan extended a temporary 15% bump in food-stamp benefits through September 30, or about $27 in additional benefits per person each month. 

The stimulus bill also expanded the Pandemic EBT program through the summer, which is geared toward helping children get access to food. The P-EBT program was first authorized by Congress last spring when the pandemic shuttered schools, providing pre-paid cards that allow families to shop for food at grocery stores and other locations. 

P-EBT cards are available to students who would have received free or reduced-price meals if their schools hadn't been closed or operating on reduced hours. Families can apply for these benefits through their children's schools or via their state's SNAP program.

Several pandemic unemployment programs are still in operation until early September — except for the 26 states that have said they are ending the programs early. 

The early curtailment of jobless aid in states ranging from Texas to New Hampshire will impact 4.7 million jobless workers, according to an estimate from the National Employment Law Project, an advocacy group. But in the other 24 states, workers who have lost their jobs can apply for the benefits, which include an extra $300 in weekly benefits. 

Pandemic relief efforts have directed $25 billion to renters who qualify for the Emergency Rental Assistance program, which is aimed at low- and moderate-income households that suffered a job or income loss in the pandemic and who are at risk of homelessness or housing instability. 

Qualifying renters can receive up to 15 months of rent assistance. Generally, people should apply through their state. Start by Googling your state and "Emergency Rental Assistance" to find your state's application portal. You'll generally need documents such as pay stubs and a current lease showing your rent amount, among other documents.

Many eligible renters may not be aware of the program, according to The Washington Post, which reported earlier this month that only $1.5 billion of the earmarked funds has been spent so far.

The American Rescue Plan also has a provision to lower health care costs for people who buy their insurance through the Affordable Care Act's marketplaces. 

These increased tax credits were available starting on April 1, and should lower premiums by an average of $50 a month, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. 

The agency said the tax credits are available to people who submit an application or a plan on or after April 1. Current ACA enrollees should update their applications and enrollments to tap the new tax credits, which should reduce their premiums for the rest of the year, the agency said.

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Abigail Spanberger column: July 15 child tax credit payments will reach 80% of central Va. families, mark a turning point in our economic recovery

Richmond.com 12 July, 2021 - 08:16pm

In April, Fahima Mati helped Titus Lamb at Starling International Child Care & Learning Complex in Henrico County.

Across Virginia, businesses are reopening, COVID-19 cases are plummeting, and families are gathering in person with their loved ones for the Fourth of July, family barbecues, and long weekends at the lake or the beach. These developments are good news, and our progress should be celebrated.

But even amid this promising moment, there still are thousands of families in our region who are recovering from an acute financial hardship or living paycheck to paycheck.

Increasingly, daily expenses are causing families to face an uncertain future over the next few months — particularly for those who have recently returned to the workforce after a long period of unemployment or underemployment. Many are worried about keeping the lights on, paying for gas or covering the cost of child care. I have heard these concerns directly from central Virginia families, especially those with young kids.

The cost of child care continues to be a major burden and a serious impediment to our economic recovery. Prior to the pandemic, infant care in Virginia was more expensive than in-state tuition at a public university. And during the COVID-19 crisis, closures limited availability and increased child care costs for families across the 7th District.

In Congress, I have worked to remain responsive to the health care and economic effects of the pandemic. In March of this year, I wrote in the Richmond Times-Dispatch about an emergency relief package known as the “American Rescue Plan.” I had just voted in the U.S. House of Representatives to pass this legislation, and President Joe Biden had signed it into law.

This landmark legislation is a primary reason for our recent successes. The American Rescue Plan strengthened many facets of Virginia’s COVID-19 response — including a major deployment of vaccines, additional stimulus checks, and support for family-owned restaurants, bars and breweries through the Restaurant Revitalization Fund. Virginians quickly felt the impacts of these provisions.

However, Virginians have yet to feel one key component of the American Rescue Plan — the expansion of the child tax credit.

The American Rescue Plan expanded the child tax credit from $2,000 per child to as much as $3,600 per child. Additionally, it ensured that this credit is fully refundable. This month, child tax credit payments will start hitting bank accounts.

Central Virginia families will begin receiving yearly payments — up to $3,000 per child ages 6-17 and up to $3,600 per child under age 6 — distributed in monthly increments. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) plans to start these payments on July 15 by sending families half of their monthly payment — which means they will receive up to $300 per child under age 6 and up to $250 per child ages 6-17. In the 7th District alone, nearly 150,000 children and their families will benefit from these payments. That means 80% of children in the 7th District will benefit.

Amazingly, there is little to no effort required for most families to start benefiting from these payments. Central Virginia families will get the full credit if they make up to $150,000 for a couple or $112,500 for a single parent. Families who make more than this will receive a prorated amount of the credit. Families who filed taxes in 2019 or 2020 — or who signed up to receive a stimulus check from the IRS — should automatically receive this tax relief.

This expansion is money directly into the pockets of Virginia families. Immediately, they will be able to use this additional assistance to pay the bills, keep up with the rent or the mortgage, and purchase essentials like groceries, gas and back-to-school clothes. Wherever families are feeling the sting in their checkbook, this new child tax credit can help.

As we return to normal, this extra relief also will help cover the costs of child care — allowing more workers to feel comfortable about getting back into the workforce and allowing more businesses to recruit the skilled employees they need.

And from a wider economic perspective, the temporary expansion of the child tax credit promises to dramatically cut child poverty. In 2019, the National Academy of Sciences released a report indicating that an expansion of the child tax credit would slash child poverty rates in half — while improving health care outcomes, widening educational opportunities and increasing future earnings.

We know that our economy only is as strong as the strength of our workforce and the next generation of Virginians. This payment marks a turning point after an extraordinarily difficult year, and it recognizes that Virginia families are the foundation of a stable and successful future.

This boost is a smart investment in our region’s economic security and the opportunities available to our region’s children.

Abigail Spanberger, a Democrat, represents Virginia’s 7th District in the U.S. House of Representatives. Contact her Washington, D.C., office at (202) 225-2815, or via an email form on her website at: http://spanberger.house.gov

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In April, Fahima Mati helped Titus Lamb at Starling International Child Care & Learning Complex in Henrico County.

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