SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) — Congressman Richard Neal visited a nursery school in Western Massachusetts on Monday to celebrate the expanded Child Tax Credit in the American Rescue Plan.
“The American Rescue Plan delivered the immediate relief our country needed to get through the darkest days of the pandemic and is providing the sustained support for the better days that we know are coming,” Neal said. “I am so proud of the work we did on the Ways and Means Committee to ensure that this tax credit was included in the bill so that parents do not have to choose between putting food on their table or gas in their car. Now, every month, millions of families will receive more meaningful support thanks to the expanded Child Tax Credit and nearly 90% of our nation’s children will benefit from this critical lifeline.”
According to Rep. Neal, the expanded Child Tax Credit in the American Rescue Plan will lift 8,300 children in western and central Massachusetts out of poverty.
“Working families endured an overwhelming amount of stress throughout the pandemic,” says Dawn DiStefano, the president and CEO of Square One nursery school. “As parents throughout our community work towards stabilizing their families, these funds will provide them with much-needed relief for essentials such as high-quality child care, nutritious food, and a healthy home environment.”
Families qualify for a full credit if their income is below $75,000 for single filers, $112,000 for people filing as head of household, or $150,000 for people who are married and filing jointly.
“As parents to two school-age children, my husband and I did a lot of juggling over the past year,” says Melissa Blissett, Square One’s Vice President of Family Services. “Although we were fortunate to remain employed and our income was not impacted by the crisis, our expenses for things such as child care, transportation and food increased dramatically. This was the case for many of the working parents I know.”
The American Rescue Plan expanded the credit to up to $3,600 per child for children up to 5-years-old, and $3,000 per child for children aged 6 to 17. The plan also authorized advance monthly payments of the child tax credit from July through December, at $300 per month per child under 6, and at $250 per month for kids 6 to 17.
Families who filed tax returns for 2019 or 2020 or signed up to receive a stimulus check from the IRS should automatically get their payments starting July 15. They should also get any remaining credits when filing their 2021 returns. Families who did not file in 2019 or 2020 or sign up for payments can use the online IRS non-filers tool to sign up.
Direct deposits and payment by mail should arrive near the 15th of every month left in 2021. Families are supposed to be able to determine eligibility and check payment status online later this month.
The IRS says to be wary of scams related to the tax credit:
“The IRS urges everyone to be on the lookout for scams related to both Advance Child Tax Credit payments and Economic Impact Payments. The IRS emphasized that the only way to get either of these benefits is by either filing a tax return with the IRS or registering online through the Non-filer Sign-up tool, exclusively on IRS.gov. Any other option is a scam.”
“Watch out for scams using email, phone calls or texts related to the payments. Be careful and cautious: The IRS never sends unsolicited electronic communications asking anyone to open attachments or visit a non-governmental web site.”