UPDATED: 2:10 p.m. ET, May 13
Original story: Feb. 8
The deadline is near for families to file taxes in time to receive additional financial benefits for their children under an expanded child tax credit. And there’s a special hitch this year — tax filing services are being offered for free by the federal government. But only if you do so by Monday.
The expanded child tax credit was enacted with the passage of the American Rescue Plan in February.
The IRS has provided a guide of options for how to file taxes for free in addition to offering free tax preparation through its Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs. Seventy percent of Americans are eligible for the expanded child tax credit, according to the IRS.
If taxes are filed on time, child tax credit checks will begin being sent out in June, USA Today reported. That would put it one month ahead of its original scheduled first proposed in January.
The legislation provides $3,600 per child under the age of six and $3,000 for children ages six through 17. Monthly payments of up to $300 would be allocated over the course of 12 months.
The assistance is expected to play an outsized role in Black and brown households, which have been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus and subsequent economic fallout from the pandemic.
The American Rescue Plan Act also has the potential of reducing child poverty. Included as a part of Biden’s recovery plan announced in January, experts from Columbia University found that expanding the tax credit along with other proposed measures would reduce child poverty by more than 51%.
Like the stimulus payments, the IRS would issue monthly checks based on the child’s age and the filer’s income. This would provide families with immediate relief instead of having to wait to file taxes. Single parents earning up to $75,000 and couples earning up to $150,000 would be eligible for the full amount. Child tax payments would be available to families for a year.
While some have pointed to the potential bipartisan appeal of the proposal, the differences are deeper than a seeming consensus on increasing the child tax credit. For instance, Sen. Mitt Romney proposed a measure that appeared similar to the Democrat proposal.
The Romney proposal would have provided $4,200 for children under five. But it would have eliminated other assistance relied upon by families including the child and dependent care tax credit, the “head of household” tax filing status, and the block grant for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.
Currently, the child tax credit gives families a credit up to $2,000 per child under age 17. In cases where the credit is more than the amount owed, families have their refund capped at up to $1,400 per child.
Statistics show that the pandemic has hurt Black and brown communities more than others, making the need for financial assistance exponentially pressing for them. Not only are Black people are dying from the coronavirus at nearly three times the amount as white people but Black unemployment remains the highest of any group.
Notable Black Folks Who Have Contracted The Coronavirus
1. Usain Bolt, Olympic gold medalist1 of 59
2. Gil Bailey, radio pioneer2 of 59
3. Keisha Lance Bottoms, Atlanta mayorSource:Getty 3 of 59
4. Herman Cain, former presidential candidateSource:Getty 4 of 59
5. Nick Cannon, entertainerSource:Getty 5 of 59
6. Ben Carson, former HUD SecretarySource:Getty 6 of 59
7. Dave Chappelle, comedianSource:Getty 7 of 59
8. Rep. Bonnie Watson ColemanSource:Getty 8 of 59
9. Manu Dibango, musicianSource:Getty 9 of 59
10. Dennis Dickson, NYPD employee10 of 59
11. Kevin Durant, NBA starSource:Getty 11 of 59
12. Larry Edgeworth12 of 59
13. Kenneth "Babyface" EdmondsSource:Getty 13 of 59
14. Idris and Sabrina Dhowre Elba14 of 59
15. Patrick Ewing, basketball legendSource:Getty 15 of 59
16. Ronald Fenty, Rihanna's dadSource:Getty 16 of 59
17. Vivica A. Fox, actressSource:Getty 17 of 59
18. Jimmy Glenn, legendary boxing trainerSource:Getty 18 of 59
19. Rudy Gobert19 of 59
20. Louis Gossett Jr., actor, philanthropistSource:Getty 20 of 59
21. Lee Green, former college hoops star21 of 59
22. Charles Gregory, Tyler Perry's makeup artrist22 of 59
23. Lewis Hamilton, Formula One driverSource:Getty 23 of 59
24. Samuel Hargress Jr., owner of legendary Harlem nightclub24 of 59
25. Conan Harris, Rep. Ayanna Pressley's husbandSource:Getty 25 of 59
26. Antoine Hodge, opera singerSource:GoFundMe 26 of 59
27. Mike Huckaby, techno music pioneer and DJ27 of 59
28. Callum Hudson-OdoiSource:Getty 28 of 59
29. DL Hughley, comedian29 of 59
30. Ahmed Ismail Hussein, Somali singer30 of 59
31. Wilson Roosevelt Jerman, former White House butler31 of 59
32. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, actor32 of 59
33. Brad "Scarface" JordanSource:Getty 33 of 59
34. DeAndre Jordan, NBA starSource:Getty 34 of 59
35. Tim Lester, NFL starSource:Getty 35 of 59
36. James Mahoney, pulmonologist36 of 59
37. Ellis Marsalis Jr., musicianSource:Getty 37 of 59
38. DeRay McKesson, activistSource:Getty 38 of 59
39. Von Miller, NFL starSource:Getty 39 of 59
40. Donovan Mitchell40 of 59
41. Wisconsin Rep. Rep. Gwen MooreSource:Getty 41 of 59
42. Lloyd Porter, small business owner in Brooklyn42 of 59
43. Charley Pride, country music legendSource:Getty 43 of 59
44. Biden Adviser, Rep. Cedric RichmondSource:Getty 44 of 59
45. Arnie Robinson Jr., Olympian45 of 59
46. Wallace RoneySource:Getty 46 of 59
47. Marcus Smart47 of 59
48. Shaka Smart, University Of Texas Men's Basketball CoachSource:Getty 48 of 59
49. Troy Sneed, gospel singerSource:Getty 49 of 59
50. Oliver "DJ Black N Mild" Stokes Jr.50 of 59
51. Michael Strahan, 'Good Morning America' host, former NFL starSource:Getty 51 of 59
52. Carole Sutton, actressSource:Getty 52 of 59
53. Jeffrey "DJ Jazzy Jeff" Townes53 of 59
54. Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers head coachSource:Getty 54 of 59
55. Karl-Anthony Towns, NBA starSource:Getty 55 of 59
56. Jo Thompson, singerSource:Getty 56 of 59
57. Karl-Anthony Towns' parents, Jacqueline Cruz and Karl-Anthony Towns Sr.57 of 59
58. Juan Williams, Fox News HostSource:Getty 58 of 59
59. Randall Woodfin, Mayor of Birmingham, AlabamaSource:Getty 59 of 59
The Deadline To File For The Expanded Child Tax Credit Is Rapidly Approaching was originally published on newsone.com