Fourth stimulus check | news summary for Monday 12 July

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Fourth stimulus check and Child Tax Credit live updates: is it coming in July? Tax refund, portal to opt out, eligibility...

US stimulus checks live updates | Monday 12 July 2021

Headlines:

-Judge in Maryland mandates that the state government to continue the payment of federal pandemic related unemployment benefits. (full details)

-California passed a bill to send another round of stimulus checks, but budget negotiations have stalled distribution. (full details)

- Child Tax Credit payments will begin on 15 July, providing support for 39 million eligible families (Full details)

- Biden reaffirms his commitment to make the expanded Child Tax Credit permanent (Full details)

- How can you contact the EDD to discuss unemployment benefits? (Details)

Useful information / links

-Golden State Stimulus Check: Who is eligible and when are payments expected

-Tax credits to reduce the cost of healthcare for those who lost their jobs because of the pandemic are now available. (Read more)

- Child Tax Credit: We took a look at the question, is the web portal the best way to apply, what other options do I have? (Details)

- You have until Monday 2 August to opt out of the August round of Child Tax Credit monthly payments. (Find out more)

- How to use the IRS's two new online tools; the Child Tax Credit Update Portal and the Child Tax Credit Eligibility Assistant.

- Should you update your tax return information? Find out when to contact the IRS.

Take a look at some of our related news articles:

Bernie Sanders, current chair of the Senate Budget Committee met with President Biden today to discuss the next steps on the infrastructure and reconciliation packages that will be brought before the Senate in the coming week. 

After the meeting, Senator Sanders told the media that he and the President are in agreement and that Biden understands,  "that we're seeing an economy where the very, very rich are getting richer while working families are struggling." 

CORONAVIRUS VACCINATIONS

$2 million Michigan vaccine lottery: when will the draw be held and how can I enter?

$2 million Michigan vaccine lottery: when will the draw be held and how can I enter?

Michigan residents who sign up to get a covid-19 vaccine will be eligible to enter a new lottery offering the chance to win an enormous cash jackpot, as well as other lucrative prizes.

The exciting new incentive was first announced on 1 July by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and it goes live on Monday 12 June. Eligibility for the lottery is retrospective, meaning that anyone who has received at least one shot of a vaccine will be able to enter.

The top prize is a $2 million jackpot, in addition to another $1 million draw and daily prizes of $50,000 each. Young people who have received a vaccine will get the chance to win one of nine $55,000 college scholarships.

Read our full coverage for details on how to enter and for more information on when the drawings are scheduled. 

In an interview, Speaker Nancy Pelosi describes what "green" elements made it into the final infrastructure bill passed by the House of Representatives. 

The Speaker acknowledged that the majority of the bill focuses on an older definition of infrastructure (i.e. roads and bridges), but also highlighted modern investments, such as those that will be made in broadband internet. 

In the interview, she also stated that "For our obligation to our children, we have to have a greener infrastructure bill. We cannot have something that is of the past." For Speaker Pelosi, that also includes jobs in emerging green sectors that could help make the US economy more competitive in the coming decades. 

GOLDEN STATE STIMULUS CHECKS

$600 California stimulus checks: why haven't the payments been received yet?

$600 California stimulus checks: why haven't the payments been received yet?

Earlier this month, the California legislature approved a bill to send an additional round of $600 Golden State stimulus checks to those in the state making less than $75,000 a year. Undocumented families and those with children are eligible to receive an additional check worth $500.

Those who received a check during the first round will not receive another payment.

However, differences over how the state should spend its historic budget surplus have stalled distribution. 

Read our full coverage for more on what elements of the budget have been agreed to and when for details on when it is expected to be finalized. 

US NEWS

How long will the IRS be sending tax refunds in 2021?

This tax season has been busy for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). With the passage of the American Rescue Plan in March, the IRS had to adapt quickly to changes in the tax code which altered the amount that would be refunded. Additionally, the trillion-dollar stimulus package allocated funds for the sending of a third stimulus check which the tax authority began distributing right as the majority of taxpayers began filing.

For those who submit a paper tax return, getting a refund normally takes between six to eight weeks. However, with changes to the tax code, the sending of stimulus checks, and more people filing returns this year, the IRS has said that delays are expected. 

Read more

What you need to know about the monthly Child Tax Credit payments

The IRS is set to start sending out monthly payments as part of the new Child Tax Credit this week, but tax officials fear that many people are still unaware of the upcoming support. This report from The Recount explains the basics of the new system and how much it could be worth for your family...

CHILD TAX CREDIT

Will there be problems receiving IRS Child Tax Credit payments?

It’s show time for the Internal Revenue Service, for the past four months the agency has been preparing to take on a new task. Starting 15 July, the IRS will begin sending advance monthly payments to parents for the 2021 Child Tax Credit. But there still may be some last-minute hurdles to overcome.

The American Rescue Plan made a series of changes to the Child Tax Credit which has existed since 1997. It greatly expanded the amount of the credit and made it available to many low- and moderate-income families who previously either couldn’t take advantage of it or only in a limited fashion. 

Read more

Non-filers need to use online tool to receive Child Tax Credit

For the majority of recipients the new-look Child Tax Credit will arriv eautomatically from 15 July, but there is concern that some low-income households may miss out. If you do not regularly file taxes then the IRS may not have the required information on file to judge your eligibility and then to make the payment. Here, Sen. Chuck Schumer points the way to register for the Child Tax Credit payments...

High unemployment rate leads to calls for fourth stimulus check

Last week the IRS released the June jobs report, which showed that the United States' unemployment rate had actually creeped up slightly to 5.9%. While the US economy added another 850,000 jobs across the month there is concern that jobless people are being left without suitable support. 

Scott Santens, author and supporter of a Universal Basic Income, has called on Congress to pass another relief package which includes recurring direct payments. The movement for a fourth stimulus check appears to have lost momentum in Washington but there remains an appetite for more stimulus spending. 

Democrats reaffirm commitment to extending Child Tax Credit expansion

The American Rescue Plan introduced a crucial overhaul of the Child Tax Credit programme, but many are worried that the single year of funding is not sufficient. Democrats are pushing for an extension, with many calling for the programme to be made permanent. The American Families Plan included a provision which would extend the programme through 2026 but Biden has struggled to find Republican support for the trillion-dollar package. 

Child Tax Credit

$3000/$3600 Child Tax Credit: Will President Biden extend it to 2025?

With the credit scheduled to begin July 15, the Biden administration will face plenty of challenges in achieving their long-term aim of extending it to 2025.

As the US climbs out of the covid-19 depression, President Biden is trying to secure both the recovery of his nation and his legacy as President. Coupled with the unemployment benefits, that for many are soon to end in many states, the Child Tax Credits are one of the President’s main weapons in his arsenal to get the country back on its feet.

Read more

Child Tax Credit payments will be sent out this week

The IRS has been working hard over the past four months to prepare for the upcoming Child Tax Credit monthly payments, a stark difference to the old single-credit programme. The payments will be going out from 15 July but there remains concern that many eligible families are not aware of the new system and some low-income families may not have signed up for the payments. 

For more information, check out How to sign up for the Child Tax Credit

How will stimulus spending affect the US economy?

The United States has experienced a period of federal spending unlike any other in the nation's history as the government attempts to reverse the damage done to the economy by the pandemic. The total cost of the various legislative packages introduced so far is thought to be in excess of $5 trillion, but the long term effects are still unknown. 

Stimulus spending includes far more than just the three rounds of stimulus checks and covers a whole host of initiatives. It is thought that the spending will now begin to fade away as businesses are able to return to normal. 

CHILD TAX CREDIT

Why should some families opt out of the advance 2021 Child Tax Credit payments?

 

Anyone who filed a tax return in the last two years or has used the IRS Non-Filer tool will be automatically signed up to receive monthly payments from the tax authority. The payments are part of the 2021 Child Tax Credit and will begin 15 July and go through December.

However, there may be reasons to opt out of the advance payments and wait to receive a lump sum payment in 2022 through a tax refund. It’s currently too late to stop the July payment but there is still time to consider your options.
Read more

Child Tax Credit: don't miss out from the start

Another reminder from the IRS that families eligible for the Child Tax Credit should file tax returns soon, if they haven’t yet, to make sure they receive the appropriate amount.

Stimulus, the economy and a housing dilemma

When the coronavirus shuttered many parts of the global economy last year, major central banks had little choice but to jump in and cut interest rates to near zero and go on an unprecedented asset-buying spree to prevent the economic and health crisis from becoming a financial one. 

Now, as some monetary authorities including the Federal Reserve begin to tip toe away from those emergency settings, avoiding market turmoil remains a key mission, made all the harder by the housing booms their easing triggered. 

Malcolm Scott brings you the latest on the threat to housing.

When stimulus wears off

The US government spent at least $5.2 trillion to combat the covid-19 crisis. It stands as one of the most expensive, ambitious experiments in US history. And it succeeded.

A final phase of that assistance could begin this week, when the Treasury Department begins a $110 billion program of child tax credit payments for millions of Americans. Those benefits are set to run through the end of the year.

But even that program runs out, assuming it is not renewed. And policymakers will be undertaking an equally uncertain experiment by letting most other covid-19 relief aid run its course. Businesses and households that were able to navigate the pandemic with large levels of government aid will soon test their ability to forge ahead on their own.

Full story brought to you by Andrew Van Dam.

Schumer promotes Child Tax Credit efforts

Senator Chuck Schumer, the New York’s Senator and Senate Majority Leader has taken to Twitter to promote the upcoming expansion to the Child Tax Credit that he has been a part of creating.

'I worked hard to expand the Child Tax Credit,' he began.

'This week, most families will start receiving $300 each month for each child 0-6 & $250 for each child 6-17

'If you filed taxes in 2019 or 2020 - you get it automatically,' he concludes with a link to help anyone unsure of where to go.

As you'll have seen, in the pinned post above we provide you with a variety of useful links.

Stimulus scale back

The CEO and Chief Strategist and Quill Intelligence has shared the analysis from JP Morgan showing that growth in the United States is estimated to go into reverse next year.

Republicans, and others that are not supportive of the use of stimulus are waiting in the wings...

FOURTH STIMULUS CHECK

More than 2.5 million signatures request a new stimulus payment

A Change.org petition calling for additional stimulus checks continues to attract more signatures.

Full story

Unemployment Benefits

$300 Unemployment benefits: In which states have the judges forced payments to continue?

With the ending of extra unemployment benefits in 26 states, workers have started to sue states to ensure the extra weekly payments of $300 continue.

Full story

Child Tax Credit: FAQs

The IRS has created an FAQs page for claimants with queries about the expanded Child Tax Credit.

You'll find a range of questions and answers on topics such as eligibility, calculating your credit and unenrolling from the monthly advance payments scheme.

Go to the IRS' Child Tax Credit FAQs page

The IRS has also produced this video explainer on the new CTC:

CHILD TAX CREDIT

IRS child tax credit: is the web portal the best way to apply, what other options do I have?

If you filed a 2020 tax return or used the IRS Non-Filer tool you are automatically signed up to receive the 2021 Child Tax Credit.

Here’s what to know

US NEWS

Why was $55.6 million in student debt cancelled by the Biden administration?

The Department of Education on Friday said it is canceling $55.6 million in student loan debt for 1,800 victims of fraud by three for-profit colleges.

Full story

CHILD TAX CREDIT

Will there be problems receiving IRS Child Tax Credit payments?

Starting on Thursday, the IRS will begin sending advance monthly payments to parents as part of the new, expanded Child Tax Credit. But there still may be some last-minute hurdles to overcome.

Full details

STIMULUS CHECKS

How much were the first, second and third stimulus checks and when were they sent out?

Since the beginning of the covid-19 pandemic early last year, the US federal government has sent out three stimulus checks to qualifying Americans.

We take a look at all three

Dollar steady amid pandemic concerns, before key inflation data

The dollar was stable against most currencies on Monday as concerns about the pandemic made investors cautious, while they also waited for more clues about the global economic recovery before making their next moves.

With markets hyper-sensitive to any talk of early tapering, U.S. inflation data on Tuesday will be closely watched ahead of a testimony by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on Wednesday and Thursday.

Meanwhile, the People's Bank of China's surprise policy easing on Friday, aimed at boosting the post-covid economic recovery, failed to provide lasting momentum. "While welcome, the move also signals that the authorities are concerned about China’s growth prospects, so it's mixed news", said Marshall Gittler, head of investment research at BDSwiss Holding.

Trump launches attack on "RINO Republicans" over infrastructure deal

Former President Trump urged “RINO Republicans” to stop negotiating with Democrats over a bipartisan infrastructure deal, saying they are “just being played.”

“RINO Republicans should stop negotiating the infrastructure deal—you are just being played by the Radical Left Democrats—they will give you nothing!” Trump said in a statement late Friday, using the acronym for Republican In Name Only.

Full story

Lack of climate risk analysis in US federal retirement fund sparks concern

The board overseeing the largest public retirement plan in the United States has not comprehensively assessed the risks climate change poses to its investments, a US federal agency says, sparking fears retirement savings pots could be at risk.

The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board (FRTIB) says its investment strategies already price in such risks to its portfolio as they track broader indices of companies coming under new pressure to disclose climate risks.

But federal investigators tasked with ensuring climate risks are accounted for in all areas of the government say the board "has not assessed the potential investment risks that climate change poses" to the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP).

The TSP, established by Congress in 1986, is a pension-like fund for the US federal workforce and has about 6 million participants and $735 billion in assets as of April.

The striking findings, detailed in a government watchdog report released last month in response to a congressional inquiry, threaten to impede President Joe Biden’s push for a “whole of government” approach on climate change.

They also run counter to efforts in a growing number of US states and cities to ditch fossil fuel investments in their own pension funds to try to lower risks.

The American Families Plan explained

Susan Rice, the President’s Domestic Policy Advisor, and Cecilia Rouse, Chair of the Council of Economic Advisors, have held a web chat to explain the ins and outs of Joe Biden's American Families Plan and how it will work for those it seeks to support.

Child Tax Credit

$3000/$3600 Child Tax Credit: Will President Biden extend it to 2025?

With the credit scheduled to begin July 15, the Biden administration will face plenty of challenges in achieving their long-term aim of extending it to 2025.

As the US climbs out of the covid-19 depression, President Biden is trying to secure both the recovery of his nation and his legacy. Coupled with the unemployment benefits, that for many are soon to end in many states, the Child Tax Credits are one of the President’s main weapons in his arsenal to get the country back on its feet.

And while they are confirmed for the 2021 fiscal year, there is some doubt over whether President Biden can convince his political opponents to support the credits through to his target of 2025.

Full story

Americans support making the 2021 Child Tax Credit permanent

Likely voters generally view a policy of guaranteed income positively, with even more favorability, nearly 30 points according to Data for Progress, when it comes to supporting kids through the expanded 2021 Child Tax Credit. 

However, the changes to the Child Tax Credit; automatically signing up eligible taxpayers, more than doubling the refundable portion, dropping the earnings floor and making advance monthly payments on the credit, will only last until the end of the year. 

If no action is taken by Congress the Child Tax Credit will revert back to the changes made in 2017. Then in 2025 it will be reduced even further down to $1,000 for children under 17.

A majority of likely voters would like to see those changes kept in place, with 56 percent in favor compared to 33 percent that oppose.

Dems want to extend 2021 Child Tax Credit changes, but for how long? 

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer speaking about the benefits of the changes made to the Child Tax Credit for children growing up in poverty said that Democrats will extend it “for a significant amount of time.” Many progressives want to make the changes permanent but from what Schumer said it sounds like that will have to wait. The changes made, including sending monthly advance payments on the credit due to start 15 July, are currently only in effect for the 2021 fiscal year. 

So how long could the changes be extended for? President Biden has asked for them to be extended until 2025 but if the Democrats use reconciliation to stretch out the length of the modifications they could go as long as 10 years. Schumer told his congressional colleague to get ready to work into the August recess on both the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill and a second bill that would include an extension of the 2021 Child Tax Credit.

Utilities companies could rebound with infrastructure bill 

This week senators will hammer out the details of the bipartisan infrastructure bill which could come up for a vote in a little over a week. Utilities companies, although not specifically targeted in the bill could reap big rewards through the focus on clean energy, electric transmission, grid resilience and electric-vehicle charging infrastructure.

Full details

A more competitive market to save Americans money

On Friday President Biden signed a sweeping executive order that looks to tackle everything from the increasingly powerful social media platforms to ensuring hearing aids are made more widely available. The order seeks to create a more competitive market. Higher prices and lower wages caused by lack of competition are now estimated to cost the median American household in total $5,000 per year

After signing the order into law, the President told those gathered: "The heart of American capitalism is a simple idea: Open and fair competition. That means that if your companies want to win your business, they have to go out and they have to up their game."

CHILD TAX CREDIT

Why should some families opt out of the advance 2021 Child Tax Credit payments?

The IRS will start sending millions of families advance 2021 Child Tax Credit payments 15 July.  Anyone who filed a tax return in the last two years or has used the IRS Non-Filer tool will be automatically signed up to receive monthly payments from the tax authority.

But some may want to opt out of the payments. Here’s why...

Dems “soft” infrastructure bill has a starting point 

Axios reports that key negotiators in the Senate Budget Committee expect to reach agreement on a starting point for what will be the second Democrat-only "soft" infrastructure bill.

Coming in at $3.5 trillion it is far smaller than the $6 trillion Senator Bernie Sanders, who heads the committee, had been floating. Albeit smaller, it covers all the major Biden administration proposals, however it will still need to get through the Senate where more moderate Democrat senators may whittle it down even more.

Stimulus check live updates: welcome

Hello and welcome to our daily live blog for today, Monday 12 July 2021, bringing you updates on a possible fourth stimulus check in the US.

We'll also provide you with information on the third round of stimulus checks, which began going out in March as part of President Biden's American Rescue Plan, in addition to news and info on other economic-support programs such as the new, expanded Child Tax Credit.

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