by: Ally Peters, WROC
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Roughly 133,000 children in Monroe County will benefit from the new Child Tax Credit payments that began rolling out Thursday.
The payments are an expansion of the existing child tax credit which is normally paid out at tax time every year. But now, qualifying families can expect to receive this credit every month, usually on the 15th.
Pete Nabozny, the Director of Policy at The Children’s Agenda, says roughly 86% of families locally will receive the payments. He expects the money to help with the high rate of child poverty in Rochester.
“This has the potential to have an enormous impact on child poverty. Nationally, if this all roles out the way we expect to, it could cut child poverty in half, and we expect that similar cut in this community here and child poverty is an enormous issue in Rochester,” Nabozny said.
Nabozny also said having these payments come out every month will be beneficial for a lot of families.
“It’s really hard, a lot of particularly low-income families get a lot of support through the tax system at tax time, but it’s hard to budget over the course of an entire year, with a payment you get at one point that year,” Nabozny said. “It makes sense to provide some of that continuously through the year, through this child tax credit, just to appreciate that unexpected costs come up all the time and expected costs come up all the time.”
Eligible families can receive a total of up to $3,600 for each child up to five years old, or $300 a month. For kids ages 6-17, families can receive a total of $3,000, or $250 a month.
The payments begin to phase out at incomes of $75,000 for individuals, $112,500 for heads of household and $150,000 for married couples. Higher-income families with incomes of $200,000 for individuals and $400,000 for married couples can still receive the previous $2,000 credit.
“It’s enormous. I saw an estimate across New York State, $7 billion dollars are going to get paid out in these taxes, tax credits, for families,” Nabozny said. “So if you have a couple children, that’s a pretty substantial amount of money that will be showing up in your bank accounts.”
After a year of job loss, economic hardship, and at-home schooling during the pandemic, this money can go a long for families.
“I am a mom myself and this morning and I woke up and I saw an extra $300 to help pay for the things that I need for me and my son. I can only imagine what that feels like for families who are struggling day to day,” Yversha Roman said.
Roman is the Director of CASH (Creating Assets, Savings and Hope). She says most families who filed tax returns in 2019 and 2020 won’t have to do anything to receive this money. It will go directly into their bank accounts.
However, there are still 4,000 families in Monroe County who haven’t filed for taxes, according to Roman.
“The only way that individuals are registered to receive these payments is if they have done their taxes in the last two years, and therefore the IRS is deeming them known to the IRS and then they can receive these payments,” she said.
For those who haven’t filed their taxes yet and could receive these payments, the CASH program is here to help.
“If you haven’t filed your taxes in the last two years, you won’t receive this payment and CASH is here to provide free income tax prep so we can connect you to those payments in that way,” Roman said.
You can reach out to the CASH program by visiting this site. You can also call 585-900-1004.
“If you have a cousin, aunt, uncle, grandmother who may be taking care of a kid under the age of 18 and they aren’t receiving these payments, they most likely should, so have them reach out to CASH,” Roman said.
The tax credit payments are only in place until December. However, the Biden administration has said it wants to make these payments permanent for families.
This benefit is not considered income and will not affect other benefits like Earned Income Tax Credit, SNAP or Section 8 Housing.