With Their Agenda Stalled, Democrats Urge Parents To File Taxes

7 months ago

WASHINGTON ― Democrats have failed to extend the monthly child tax credit payments that most American parents received last year, but they have some useful advice for parents missing that extra cash: File your taxes.

More than 36 million households received as much as $300 per child each month from July through December. The monthly payments have ended, but households that were eligible for the maximum benefit stand to receive lump-sum checks for the first six months of 2021 in the form of a tax refund.

Democrats called a press conference Tuesday to publicize the coming refunds.

“This being tax season, I want to just put in a pitch this year so that families will make sure that they get the second half of the child tax credit payment,” said Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.).

Since Democrats boosted the maximum value of the child tax credit to $3,600 in 2021 for kids under 6 ($3,000 for kids age 6 to 17), and the IRS only made monthly payments for half of the year, eligible parents can get refunds worth as much as $1,800 per child under 6 and $1,500 per child age 6 to 17.

Shannon Russell is a 34-year-old mother of four in Hemet, California, whose husband died from cancer five years ago. She said the monthly payments had been a big help — and she didn’t know more money would arrive via a tax refund.

“It’s useful, of course, but Joe Biden promised to bring single-parent households out of poverty, and it wasn’t supposed to be for just a year,” Russell said.

Russell worked at a drug manufacturer’s warehouse until the pandemic hit and hasn’t been able to return. “They offered to bring me back but I don’t have child care,” she said. “I’m kind of out here on my own.”

Russell said she has been searching for a babysitter since last year but hasn’t had any luck. She needs someone who can watch her 4-year-old, who has autism, and also pick up his older siblings from school. She has interviewed potential caretakers but not found one who could do the work on a schedule that fits her own. Even before the pandemic, she said, she would sometimes miss shifts because of the kids.


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