Last Friday, the Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department confirmed that the second batch of advance monthly payments worth approximately $15 billion from the expanded Child Tax Credits (CTC) were disbursed to about thirty-six million American families.
There was, however, a noticeable wrinkle that has the potential to confuse many cash-strapped parents who are waiting to receive the funds. Apparently, due to an unspecified issue, the tax agency announced that up to fifteen percent of families who received the cash payment in July via direct deposit now will be getting a paper check this month.
“Like the first payments, the vast majority of families will receive these payments by direct deposit,” the IRS said in a release.
“For those affected, no additional action is needed for the September payment to be issued by direct deposit. Families can visit the Child Tax Credit Update Portal to see if they’re receiving a direct deposit or paper check this month,” it continued.
The tax agency also mentioned that for those who are receiving their credits via the post office, “be sure to allow extra time for delivery by mail through the end of August.”
Future payments from the child tax credits are slated to head out on the fifteenth of each month through December.
Approved under President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, the federal government is now allowing eligible parents to collect as much as $3,600 per year for a child under the age of six and up to $3,000 for children between ages six and seventeen—meaning that a $250 or a $300 payment for each child will be deposited each month through the end of 2021.
Benefits of CTC
Recent polls and studies also strongly support the fact that the Credits are already offering timely support to low-income households amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The latest Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey showed that parents who have received the funds reported less trouble paying for food and basic household expenses. It further revealed that about ten percent of households with children sometimes or often didn’t have enough to eat over the past week—the lowest percentage registered since the health crisis started in early 2020.
According to a separate analysis released by the Niskanen Center, it contended that the recurring monthly checks will help propel $27.6 billion in new household spending and support more than half a million new jobs.
“While only enacted for one year, the expanded CTC is expected to reduce child poverty by forty percent and support investments in children that promote family stability,” the think tank stated in a release.
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Washington state-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.