45.8 F

Child tax credit cash for Nevada families starts in July


More than 600,000 Nevada children to benefit from credit’s expansion

By April Corbin Girnus
This story was originally published by Nevada Current.

Nevada families should start receiving monthly payments in mid-July, part of a federal economic recovery plan that is expected to benefit hundreds of thousands of children across the state.

The Child Tax Credit is normally a $2,000 tax credit applied on parents’ or qualified caregivers’ annual income tax return. But as part of the American Rescue Plan, the Child Tax Credit for 2021 has been expanded to $3,000 per child (for children ages 6-17) or $3,600 per child (for children under 6).

Moreover, half of the tax credit amount will be advanced to families in the form of direct monthly payments of $250 to $350 per child. Those are expected to begin hitting bank accounts or mailboxes on July 15 and continue through December. Families will receive the remaining half when they file their 2021 taxes next year.

Most parents should not have to do anything to begin receiving their monthly checks, according to the Internal Revenue Service.

But, for anyone who is not required to file taxes but is eligible to receive the tax credit, the IRS has launched a non-filer sign-up tool.

For parents or caregivers who need to update relevant information with the IRS, a second online portal is expected to launch before the end of June. This might apply for parents who have given birth this calendar year, or for parents who claimed a child on their 2020 taxes but will not claim them on their 2021 taxes. Families may also choose to opt out of monthly payments and receive the entire credit as part of the income tax return next year.

President Joe Biden declared Monday Child Tax Credit Day. Democratic lawmakers promoted the tax credit changes at events across the country and encouraged families to plan for the additional funds.

At an event in Pennsylvania, Vice President Kamala Harris noted that in many parts of the country the cost of living has continued to rise while wages have remained stagnant.

“So we need to meet the demands, again, of our families. And that extra $1,000, that extra $1,600 — well, you know what that means. That could cover a month of rent, a few weeks of groceries, an entire year of diapers.”

In Nevada, Rep. Steven Horsford had scheduled a Facebook Live event with Make it Work Nevada to answer questions about the tax credit.

According to the organization Co-Equal, more than 600,000 Nevada children are set to benefit from the expanded tax credit.

By Congressional District:

  • CD-1 (Rep. Dina Titus) 156,800
  • CD-2 (Rep. Mark Amodei) 138,100
  • CD-3 (Rep. Susie Lee) 141,500
  • CD-4 (Rep. Steven Horsford) 177,100

Horsford in a press release called the expanded tax credit “an essential tool in our recovery.”

According to his office, 9,700 children in his district will be lifted out of poverty and 3,400 children will be lifted out of deep poverty, which is defined as living in a household where the annual income falls below 50% of the poverty line.

The 2021 federal poverty line for a family of four is $26,500 annually, or $2,208.33 per month. For a single parent with two children, the poverty line is $21,960, or $1,830 monthly.

According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, which released its 2021 Kids Count national rankings of children’s wellbeing on Monday, 17% — or 115,000 — of Nevada children in 2019 were living in poverty.

Nevada is ranked by the foundation as 45th overall for children’s wellbeing — 41st for economic well being, 46th for education, 34th for health, and 44th for family and community.

Those rankings, which reflect Nevada pre-pandemic, largely showed an improvement over previous years, according to the Kids Count report. But the pandemic’s economic toll ravaged tourism-dependent Nevada harder than other states, stopping or reversing many of those gains.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation is one of several child advocacy groups calling for the Child Tax Credit expansion to become a permanent part of the U.S. tax code, citing its potential to reduce poverty.

Democrats, including Biden, and making a public push to do just that.

Nevada Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto in a statement Monday said the Child Tax Credit changes “will make an enormous difference to countless working families.”

She continued: “For a working family with two kids, the increased credit could put more than $500 a month in their pockets to help make ends meet, which is why we must make it permanent.”

The Democratic National Committee in a press release promoting Child Tax Credit Day took aim at the GOP for not supporting it.

“Experts estimate this historic expansion will cut child poverty in half,” read their statement, “no thanks to Republicans in Congress who unanimously voted against the American Rescue Plan.”

For more information on the Child Tax Credit, visit whitehouse.gov/child-tax-credit/

This Is Reno is your source for award-winning independent, online Reno news and events since 2009. We are locally owned and operated.