Nearly half of eligible recipients of the enhanced child tax credit are still not sure if they qualified, despite months of preparation and alerts from the IRS regarding the upcoming payments, according to a new survey.
The poll, conducted by Ally Bank, found that 41 percent of the consumers who participated in the survey qualify for the expanded child tax credit based on the ages of their children and income levels, but only 50 percent of them understand that they do qualify for the credit.
The poll’s results reveal a massive misunderstanding among eligible recipients, as nearly one-quarter of respondents said that they don’t expect to receive the child tax credit because they don’t know how to access it. Around 9 percent of the people surveyed said they did not anticipate receiving the payments because they believe their income is too high, even though they likely qualify for it.
“The much-anticipated child tax credit payments being released this week, while certainly welcomed, are still broadly misunderstood by most parents,” Anand Talwar, deposits and consumer strategy executive for Ally Bank, said in a statement. “Our research shows nearly half of eligible consumers said they are uncertain whether they qualify for the payments and another 25 percent are confused about how to access them.”
“So, if you’re a parent, my advice is to take a moment now and check whether you’re eligible, and if so, verify how much of a child tax credit payment you might receive,” Talwar added. “That way, you can plan and plan well.”
Another 39 percent of those who likely qualify for the credit said they don’t know the amount that they should receive based on their income and ages of their children, or don’t expect to receive a monthly payment.
When asked how much they anticipate receiving from the child tax credit program, 47 percent referred to the incorrect amount.
Biden’s coronavirus relief bill boosted the credit from $2,000 to $3,000 and allowed parents with children under the age of six to qualify for $3,600. The measure also permits parents of children at the age of seventeen to be eligible for the credit.
The IRS will be sending the enhanced credit on a monthly basis from July through December, while the rest can be claimed when parents file their income tax returns next year.
Parents with children under the age of six will get $300 monthly payments per child starting July 15, and those with children between the ages of six and seventeen will get $200 payments per child.
If families have dependents that are eighteen years old, they can qualify for $500 each. Dependents between the ages of nineteen and twenty-four and are full-time college students also qualify for the $500 boost.
To qualify for the full tax credit, individuals must earn less than $75,000, joint filers must make less than $150,000 and heads of households must earn less than $112,500. The amount will then drop by $50 for each $1,000 in income above these caps.
Rachel Bucchino is a reporter at the National Interest. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report and The Hill.