Hey parents! The U.S. government is doling out some much-needed child tax credits on Friday if you have kids.
CNN reported on the most recent payment. Families will get two more monthly payments this year.
The federal government sent out $15 billion to American families with about 61 million children as part of its child tax credit plan. Since the first July payment, the government has paid out $61 billion to eligible families.
What’s The Breakdown?
That’s easy. Every child up to age 6 gets a $300 child tax credit. For those between ages 6 and 17, expect a $250 child tax credit in the form of a check or bank deposit.
Some have had issues with getting the money as officials can’t connect with poorer families. Reportedly, they’ve tried even setting up an online portal where they can claim the money.
It’s all good, however, if they get the internet.
There are 27.6 million American households that don’t have home internet services. The website Reviews.org states that about one in four households do not have the internet, and a quarter million still connect by landline to the internet. Break that down further, and you’ve got more families without internet than the told number of households in 13 states.
There are places in this country so poor that people do not have indoor plumbing. That goes for rural and urban areas. Many families live in places like Tennessee and urban hubs like San Francisco while sharing public access to a toilet. So, if you’re reading this, tell them about the child tax credit.
How Are Families Eligible?
Easy. File tax returns in 2019 or 2020.
If a low-income family didn’t file or use the IRS online tool to get their coronavirus stimulus checks, these child tax credits are a mess of communication or are just out of reach.
Shockingly, as many as 2.3 million children are in the cold because families did not file returns, according to the U.S. Treasury Department. That’s money for food, clothes, and even shelter. The money also helped with bills, school uniforms and school supplies.
A University of Michigan study also reported that 13 percent of eligible low-income households did not get the first two monthly payments or know how to get the child tax credit money. The study also said this group did not understand why they didn’t get it.
This study also revealed a big gap between English-speaking and Spanish-speaking American families. Those Spanish-speaking families who took the university study were less likely to get the payments in July and August.
The university study reveals flaws in the government’s attempts to help out families with the child tax credits.
Payments Did Help Families
Columbia University estimated that the first two payments lifted 3.5 million poor kids out of poverty. The child poverty rate in the wealthiest country in the world was 11.5 percent. It could’ve been 16.2 without the credits. Middle-class families were helped too.
One study said the group spend 55 percent of the money on food with additional funds going to clothes and school/after-school expenses. Another study from the University of Washington said these payments were helping out with college funds and child care.
Families, get your child tax credit payments while you can. They only last until the end of the year. Unless Congress hunkers down and keeps this cash cow for families going until 2025.