Here's What You Need to Know: An estimated forty million American families will financially benefit from the expanded credits.
For eligible parents seeking to tap into extra government-issued funds via the expanded child tax credits—seen in some circles as essentially fourth coronavirus stimulus checks—know that the funds are only weeks away.
And to make the entire process as smooth as possible, the Internal Revenue Service recently launched three new online tools that are designed to assist eligible families manage and monitor the recurring monthly payments that will start July 15, which were approved under President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan.
The first one up and running is the Non-filer Sign-up Tool, which will give the IRS the necessary information, such as an address and bank account and routing numbers, to properly disburse the credits.
According to the agency, the tool was “developed in partnership with Intuit and delivered through the Free File Alliance … (and will provide) a free and easy way for eligible people who don't make enough income to have an income tax return-filing obligation to provide the IRS the basic information needed.”
Another key tool is called the Child Tax Credit Eligibility Assistant, and this will allow parents to answer a series of questions that will determine whether they indeed qualify for the recurring credits, which amount to as much as $3,600 per year for a child under the age of 6 and up to $3,000 for children between ages 6 and 17. That means a $250 or a $300 direct cash payment for each child will head into eligible bank accounts on a monthly basis through the end of the year. In addition, eighteen-year-old dependents and full-time college students who are under twenty-four can give their parents a one-time $500 payment.
An estimated forty million American families, including nearly ninety percent of all children in the country, will financially benefit from the expanded credits.
“This tax cut will give our nation’s hardworking families with children a little more breathing room when it comes to putting food on the table, paying the bills, and making ends meet,” Biden said in a statement.
The third handy tool is known as the Child Tax Credit Update Portal, which, according to the IRS, will allow “families to verify their eligibility for the payments and if they choose to, unenroll, or opt-out from receiving the monthly payments so they can receive a lump sum when they file their tax return next year.”
“The Update Portal is a key piece among the three new tools now available on IRS.gov to help families understand, register for, and monitor these payments. We will be working across the nation with partner groups to share information and help eligible people receive the advance payments,” he added.
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Minneapolis-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.
This article first appeared earlier this month.