Millions of Americans are now eligible for a child tax credit up to half of the total credit amount in advance monthly payments, and a majority of area residents are excited about the change.
For every child under 6 years old, families will receive $300, and for children from 6-17, they will receive $250. Eligible people will claim the other half when they file their 2021 income tax returns.
The first payment took place July 15. Additional payments will take place the 15th of each month until the end of the year. Those who prefer to receive the tax credit in one lump sum when they file their taxes can opt out of the monthly payments, but must do so three days before the end of the month.
“A lot of folks do find it beneficial. There are some who would rather have a sum at the end of the year. It’s a mixed party,” said Venessa Grimmett, office manager for Jackson Hewitt tax service.
Those eligible should have received two letters from the IRS: the eligibility letter that went out in June, and the second in July that indicated the amount of payment to be received. The IRS will disburse the money either by direct deposit or by check, depending how the family indicated when they filed taxes. Paper checks will be delivered two weeks after direct deposit.
“It will be the biggest refundable credit ever,” said Grimmett. “They are doing this because of the pandemic, but the Biden administration is trying to make it something permanent.”
In an online poll on the Tahlequah Daily Press website, 46 percent of readers believe the child tax credit will help many needy families, even though they will not benefit from it, and an additional 12 percent believe the change is beneficial to those who will receive payments. Twenty-one percent of users are not eligible and believe the tax credit is an example of government waste. Three percent of readers are eligible, but will decline the payments. Six percent believe the payments are an example of government waste, but will take the money just the same. Eleven percent of readers are undecided.
Michael Cummings, a Daily Press Facebook user, believes the child credit will help families to spend their money more carefully. He responded to questions on the July 17 Saturday Forum.
“Hopefully by breaking the payoff into multiple payments, it will reduce the buying of luxury goods and increase the purchase of necessity goods,” he said.
Christine Cotton, another Facebook user, believes the tax credit is a waste, and that there is no guarantee the money received will be directed toward the children the money is supposed to benefit.
“I would like the income tax to be returned as well. I still have not got mine, and where is all this money coming from? Will they use it for the kids?” she asked.
Dawn LeForce believes the IRS is not offering enough money to U.S. citizens. She is also concerned that those who have not filed taxes may not be eligible for the tax credit.
“Only working people with kids can get this. The poor... many of us disabled and/or the elderly therefore don't have to file taxes,” said LeForce. “We should all be calling for monthly stimulus checks like other countries. We're supposed to be the No. 1 country in the world. Yet all we've gotten is $3,200. That's pretty pathetic.”
For more discussion on the child tax credit, go to www.facebook.com/tdpress and scroll down to the July 17 Saturday Forum.