Many Americans will receive unexpected money from the tax credit | News, Sports, Jobs

Millions of American parents will be pleasantly surprised when they receive their tax returns this year, thanks to the improved child tax credit.

Previously, only people who made enough money to owe income taxes could get the full credit.

But as part of the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, President Joe Biden has expanded the program, increasing payments up to $3,600 a year for each child age 5 or younger and 3 $000 for those ages 6 to 17, reports the Associated Press.

Monthly payments amounted to $300 for each child 5 and under and $250 for those between 5 and 17.

The government began sending the payments – a total of $93 billion – on a monthly basis from last July. Now there are six more months of payments waiting to be claimed. And some families have not yet received any of the benefits due to them. In total, an estimated $193 billion has yet to be claimed.

The only way to receive this money is to file a tax return.

For those who have questions regarding the amount of credit they have already received, there is support.

Eligible families who did not receive any child tax credit advance payments in 2021 can still claim the full amount of the child tax credit on their federal tax return. Families who are unsure if they have received payments, or if they have potentially received paper checks that have not been cashed, can visit the Child Tax Credit Update Portal to see the amount of the credit they should have received.

The IRS is urging individuals to file their taxes electronically to process forms faster, and provides links on the agency’s website to free filing sites like, which helps families earning less than $66,000 a year or so to file their taxes for free. The organization partners with IRS-certified volunteer income tax assistance and provides free assistance in English and Spanish. Another option is MyFreeTaxes. com, which provides virtual assistance for people who earn $58,000 or less to file their federal and state taxes for free. This service is offered by Centraide.

The IRS has launched a website, called, which lists the criteria that filers must meet to receive full credit. Additionally, the federal agency will begin offering walk-in assistance to IRS volunteers, beginning Saturday.

The pandemic has been a difficult experience for all of us – it’s great to see that many parents will get help and will now be better equipped to put a little more food on the table, or take a lot – need a family trip this year.

Remember that the deadline for filing tax returns is April 18.

— The Journal of Mines, Marquette

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