Direct Monthly Payments for Families with Children | United Way of Metropolitan Dallas

The Federal Child Tax Credit Could Put $300 or More in Your Pocket Every Month

Most North Texans with children are eligible, even if you don’t have a bank account or you make too little to pay taxes. Find out how to sign up below.

In March, Congress passed the American Rescue Plan to help individuals recover from the economic pain of the COVID-19 pandemic and get the country’s economy going again. One of the most notable parts of the bill is the child tax credit, which provides direct monthly payments to parents with children under 18.

The tax credit has the potential to cut child poverty in half. This type of economic relief is especially important in a place like North Texas, where nearly one in three children live in poverty.

At United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, we see first-hand the economic pain that our community has felt since the start of COVID-19. We’re encouraged by policies like the child tax credit that can quickly help our neighbors regain financial security. Income—along with education and health—is one of the building blocks of opportunity, which is why it’s a big part of our work in North Texas.

See below to learn more about the Child Tax Credit and find out how to benefit from this new program.

What is the child tax credit?

The child tax credit provides major tax relief throughout the second half of 2021 for nearly all working families in the U.S. If you’re eligible, you’ll receive:

  • $300 each month for every child under 6 years old
  • $250 each month for every child 6-17 years old

You’re eligible for the tax credit if you make up to $150,000 for a couple or up to $112,500 for a family with a single parent (also known as a head of household).

In previous years, working families could claim dependents on their taxes and then enjoy a child tax credit. However, the American Rescue Plan made this year’s child tax credit much larger and changed it to direct payments so families could use the money immediately. The expanded tax credit lasts only until the end of 2021; however, President Biden has called on Congress to extend it indefinitely.

Getting Your Tax Credit

The federal government is offering two ways to get these monthly payments:

  1. If you filed tax returns in 2019 or 2020 or signed up to receive a stimulus check from the IRS: You don’t need to take any action. If you get your refunds from the IRS through direct deposit, you’ll get the child tax credit funds directly in your bank account on the 15th of the month until the end of the year. If you don’t use direct deposit to get refunds from the IRS, you should receive a check in the mail around the same time each month.
  2. If you didn’t file tax returns in 2019 or 2020: If you didn’t make enough in 2019 or 2020 to be required to file taxes, you can still sign up for the child tax credit. (The thresholds for not having to file taxes are incomes under $12,400 for an individual, $24,800 for a couple and $18,650 for a head of household.) You’ll need a reliable mailing address, an email address, Social Security Numbers for your children, and Social Security Numbers (or ITIN) for yourself and your spouse. Visit childtaxcredit.gov to sign up.

The first child tax credit payments went out in July. If you believe you’re eligible and haven’t started seeing your monthly payments, visit the IRS Child Tax Credit website.

Need assistance with your child tax credit payments?

Get free guidance on how to receive child tax credits, plus how to file past tax returns, from Foundation Communities by visiting one of these locations now through Oct. 15:

  • North Dallas Shared Ministries (2875 Merrell Road, Dallas 75229): Open 2-7 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays, and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. the first Saturday of each month.
  • Hampton and Illinois Library (2951 S. Hampton Road, Dallas 75244): Open 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and third Saturdays.

Please note: Clients must have an appointment. Call 214-370-9353 or visit www.dallastaxcenters.as.me to schedule an appointment.

No bank account? It’s easy to get banked

The fastest and easiest way to receive your child tax credits is through direct deposit into a checking account. With an insured bank account, you can receive stimulus funds and tax refunds securely and more quickly, and you don’t have to deal with the hassle and expense of cashing a check.

More than 10 million households in Texas are “unbanked.” However, that number will probably grow as more banks close because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

If your household doesn’t have a bank account, the child tax credit is a good opportunity to sign up and get access to your money more quickly.

Greg Mangum, vice president of economic mobility at United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, urges all North Texas families to get a bank account so they can receive financial assistance as quickly as possible.

“These advanced payments have helped a lot of families navigate the financial hardships they have experienced because of the pandemic,” he said. “Setting up direct deposit into your checking or savings account is the easiest, fastest and safest way to get the money coming to you and your family from federal tax and assistance programs like the child tax credit.”

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Get Banked today

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Visit our Financial Resources page for a list of banks that offer checking accounts with benefits like low or no fees, no minimum deposit, no minimum balance and more. You’ll also find a list of organizations that provide free financial guidance to help you meet your goals for 2021, plus free financial education programs that can help you become financially stable.

Learn More
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ABOUT UNITED WAY OF METROPOLITAN DALLAS

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United Way of Metropolitan Dallas is a community-based social change organization that puts opportunity in the hands of all North Texans. Working with our determined supporters, we lead the charge to improve education, income and health—the building blocks of opportunity. We invite all change-seekers in our community to Live United to achieve lasting results right here at home.

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This article was published on: Aug 12, 2021