Fourth stimulus check and child tax credit: summary 30 July
- Several states will send thank you stimulus checks to teachers. Which ones? (Details)
- Millions of families missed the first payment of the Child Tax Credit (Details)
- Lawmakers reach deal on new $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill (Details)
- Does the new Bipartisan agreement include more stimulus money or tax breaks? (Details)
-Will a fourth stimulus check be included in the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package? (Details)
Useful information / links
What is IRS TREAS 310 and how is it related to 2020 tax returns? (Details)
IRS Child Tax Credit portal: how can I use it to opt out? (Details)
How much money can you get from stimulus checks and the Child Tax Credit? (Calculate)
Child Tax Credit | When is the deadline to opt-out of the August payment? (Details)
US Congress 101 | What is a reconciliation bill and how is it different from a normal bill? (Details)
Unemployment | Will benefits be reinstated in states that have ended them because of the delta variant? (Details)
Still waiting for your tax refund? Find out when to contact the IRS
Have a read of some of our related news articles:
$300 unemployment benefits in Arkansas to continue
Unemployment supplements for around 69,000 citizens must restart in Arkansas while a lawsuit works its way through the court system. Pulaski County Circuit Judge Herbert T. Wright Jr. ordered the state to resume its participation in a federal unemployment assistance program which Gov. Asa Hutchinson had sought to end.
In May, Hutchinson said that he would end Arkansas' participation in the federal programs after 26 June. However a lawsuit was filed against Hutchinson last week. The lawsuit said Hutchinson had overstepped his authority in ending "life-sustaining benefits" for 68,853 Arkansas residents who qualified for the help.
Families using Child Tax Credit to pay off rent and debts
Many families who receive Child Tax Credit have been spending it on rent, child care and food, as well as using the extra cash to pay off debts and other bills. Spending habits have changed since CTC payments were offered monthly rather than in one lump sum. “One of the problems with the big check in a year, if your car broke six months before, that is a long time to wait,” Michael Reinke, executive director of the Nashua Soup Kitchen & Shelter, explained. "When people have money over a consistent period of time, it’s easier to make sure it’s going to the expenses you really need. Sometimes, if you get it all at once, it’s hard to budget.”
Infrastructure bill close to completion
The bipartisan bill passed its second procedural test and with negotiations sorted between the two parties it is likely to be passed next week.
The text is yet to be published by Senator Chuck Schumer is recommending a resumption of Senate discussion Saturday morning at 11am to discuss amendments.
The bill had been targeted as an important area by the President in his election campaign and would be major success for it to finally be implemented.
1.5 million Americans to have tax refunds of $1,600
The IRS reported that another 1.5 million taxpayers will receive refunds averaging more than $1,600 as it continues to adjust unemployment compensation from previously filed income tax returns.
President Biden's American Rescue Plan set a limit of $10,200 before any tax is paid from unemployment support. Any unemployment aid under this value would not be subject to any tax and those who overpaid are being retroactively refunded.
The refunds come as the extra federal unemployment benefits are due to end in September. The IRS has had a historic number of tax returns to account. Currently, the backlog stands at a staggering 35 million tax returns to manually process.
Yes, Joe Biden gets a little win out of this, but like I always like to say, not every win requires a loser.
Democrats hurry to extend eviction moratorium as evictions loom
Originally enacted by the CDC eleven months ago, the eviction moratorium was established to prevent the spread of the virus among families and individuals that could be made homeless.
Landlords have submitted 351,816 eviction filings since the CDC moratorium was enacted, which is less than half of what would usually be expected over a similar period, 760,000.
The moratorium ends Sunday and Democrats are urging its extension before the Senate breaks up for the weekend.
The Senate remains on track to reach our goal of passing both a bipartisan infrastructure bill and a budget resolution.
IRS missing information for up to 7 million children for CTC
While most families who signed up have received their first payment, the People's Policy Project estimates that up to 7 million children have slipped through the net of the extra welfare.
For most families the information for the CTC is gathered through tax returns while others without tax returns have to apply manually on the IRS portal.
However, some of the children who are most vulnerable may not receive the funding due to parents missing out on accessing the website.
The IRS has partnered with community-based organizations around the country, but funding is limited.
The Federal Eviction Moratorium ends tomorrow, 31 July and many experts worry it that a massive wave of evictions could soon begin across the US.
Read the New Yorker's coverage of a family who was able to keep a roof over their heads thanks to the moritorium.
Debate over the Bipartisan infrastructure package begins for the second day this week.
Want to learn more about the package?
Is inflation increasing in the United States?
Read our full coverage to understand what exactly is driving up prices in the US economy.
$1000 bonus checks for educators: which states will send the payments using stimulus money?
State and school district administers are coming up with creative ways to use additional stimulus money for education passed as a part of the American Rescue Plan.
With many children at home during the pandemic, teachers had to adjust their curriculum and lessons for a virtual space. More than six states and districts are offering teachers a bonus or thank you payment for their work throughout the pandemic.
Read our full coverage to find out if your state is one of them.
Washington Post reports that as the federal eviction moritrium ends, more than $46 billion in rental assistance remains unspent.
Personal Income grows for the first time in the US since March 2021
After the sending of the third stimulus check passed as a part of the American Rescue Plan, personal income rose by more than 21% from February to March. However, data from April and May showed sharp decreases as money from the direct payment had been spent.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis has released the personal income and consumer spending report for June which shows that income grew .1%. While the figure represents a modest increase, it is an improvement over the decreases in income seen in the previous two months.
Disposable income, however, remained unchanged compared to the -2.7% decrease seen in May, meaning that while income did increase, inflation and other factors did not mean households were able to spend more.
Republican Senator Kevin Cramer speaks with Fox News on his support of the infrastructure package and how some minor adjustments could be made to improve it.
$1000 stimulus check for educators: how to claim it if I haven't received it
Teaching staff have been at the forefront of the pandemic, either with dangerous in-person teaching or preparing classes to teach online. It has been a tumultuous 18 months for the profession and it isn't going to get much easier soon. The CDC, for example, now recommends that all students in grades K-12 wear masks in the classroom regardless of their vaccination status.
As a way to show appreciation for their efforts, and to help retain teachers and staff, states and school districts have been approving one-time “thank you” using federal stimulus funds.
Read our full coverage for more details.
CalMatters reports on how the one-time nature of the Golden State stimulus checks will keep many of the state's most vulnerable residents reliant on predatory payday lenders.
Reporter Erika Paz writes that "in 2020, California saw a 40% decline in payday loans taken out compared to 2019, a drop equivalent to $1.1 billion." With more support from the federal and state government, more than half a million people didn't take out a payday loan compared to data from 2019.
However, when the stimulus check that will be sent in September arrives, it could be the last as there are no plans to at the state or federal level to send more.
Are colleges and universities offering incentives for people to get vaccinated?
College administrators around the country are grappling with how to get students vaccinated.
More than 600 colleges and universities are mandating that students get vaccinated before returning to campus. Some, like Ohio Wesleyan University are offering 50 new students a $25,000 scholarship. The University of Wisconsin system, will also be using financial incentives to encourage vaccination by "setting aside nearly $500,000 for a scholarship lottery for vaccinated students."
Read the full story here.
Eviction moratorium to expire on Saturday
A nationwide ban preventing landlords from evicting tenants who are struggling to pay their rent because of the pandemic will expire on Saturday. The moratorium has been in place since September 2020.
According to the Associated Press, the Biden administration wanted to extend the eviction moratorium due to the spread of the highly contagious Delta coronavirus variant. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement, "In light of the Supreme Court's ruling, the President calls on Congress to extend the eviction moratorium to protect such vulnerable renters and their families without delay. Given the recent spread of the Delta variant, including among those Americans both most likely to face evictions and lacking vaccinations, President Biden would have strongly supported a decision by the CDC to further extend this eviction moratorium to protect renters at this moment of heightened vulnerability. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court has made clear that this option is no longer available"
Fourth stimulus check: Is another payment included in the reconciliation bill?
As negotiations over the bipartisan infrastructure plan stall, Senator Bernie Sanders unveiled a $3.5 trillion reconciliation package. The proposal includes many popular measures that were left out of the infrastructure plan put together by over twenty Democratic and Republican Senators.
Growing wealth gap in the US poses threat to democracy, says Pelosi
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi warned that the ever increasing wealth gap between the private sector and working class Americans and the unequal distribution of wealth is a threat to the standard of living of ordinary citizens and even a threat to democracy itself.
She told the Economic Disparity and Fairness in Growth Committee, "Today, our economy and our country faces a similar threat to the liberty of our democracy. We know that the middle class is the backbone of our democracy, if we strengthen our middle class, we strengthen our democracy. It's not just about the middle class, it's about those who aspire to it. Economic inequality has intensified during the pandemic. The widening chasm between CEO compensation & worker pay has gone from unfair to immoral. The stagnation of wages is a picture of injustice. We must ensure that our economy works for everyone while powering strong economic growth for years to come".
Another 1.5 million taxpayers to get refunds
The IRS has announced that another 1.5 million taxpayers will receive refunds averaging more than $1,600 as it continues to adjust unemployment compensation from previously filed income tax returns.
The 2021 American Rescue Plan Act excluded up to $10,200 in 2020 unemployment compensation from taxable income calculations. The exclusion applied to individuals and married couples whose modified adjusted gross income was less than $150,000.
Refunds by direct deposit will begin starting Wednesday 28 July and refunds by paper check will begin from today, Friday 30 July. This is the fourth round of refunds related to the unemployment compensation exclusion provision.
Do foster families receive the Child Tax Credit?
Senator from Georgie Jon Osoff tweets about families who foster children and how the expansion of the Child Tax Credit has helped them.
Will the new Bipartisan agreement include new stimulus money or tax breaks?
Detailed contents of the Bipartisan Infrastructure package, which has officially been named the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) have yet to be released. However, with debate over the proposal beginning in the Senate, details over what Democrats and Republicans agreed to are trickling out.
At this point, the IIJA does not include funding for a fourth stimulus check.
The group of Senators who worked on the package eliminated over $386 billion worth of clean energy tax credits. These credits were designed to assist individuals, municipalities, and businesses transition to clean energy sources and options, such as solar panels or electric vehicles and buses.
What does the new Bipartisan agreement include? Who helped lead the effort?
On Wednesday, the Senate voted to begin debate over an infrastructure package negotiated between a group of bipartisan Senators and the White House. The announcement that the discussions had wrapped up was welcome news to many on Capitol Hill looking forward to their summer recess.
The bill, which includes some elements of the American Jobs Plan (AJP), is much smaller in scale and scope. The IIJA proposes $550 billion of new federal spending, focusing on investments in physical infrastructure.
Read our full coverage for more details on who led the effort and what exactly the package includes.
Democrats strive to ensure Child Tax Credit extends to 2025
Most recipients of the Child Tax Credit have received their first payment, with the next coming in two weeks. The President has made it a priority that the payments continue due to the help they are providing families to lift themselves out of poverty. It is estimated that 1 in 7 American children live in poverty.
And Democrats have taken to Twitter to profess their support for the extension. Lawmakers are facing a crucial week in with the bipartisan Infrastructure bill making headway while Senior Democrats like Nancy Pelosi don't want the rest of the Democrats' plans to be overshadowed by the bill.
Unvaccinated Goldman Sachs employees blocked from entering office
Since 10 June, all Goldman Sachs employees are required to report their vaccine status to the company. Failure to do so will see ID card's blocked and employees unable to enter the workplace, CNN reports. Unvaccinated employees are required to get a rapid Covid-19 test on site at the Goldman Sachs office and will be tested regularly, a company spokesperson said. Employees who test positive will immediately be asked to leave the building.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics released a new report titled "Impact Of The Coronavirus Pandemic On Businesses And Employees By Industry."
The report highlights the impact which covid-19 has had on businesses in the US, including, how they "saw their supply chains interrupted, demand for their products and services decline, shortages in supplies and inputs, and government-mandated closures."
Which sectors continued to pay employees that were not working at the highest rates?
Employing over 2 million people, the Finance and Insurance sector paid 76% of establishments "continued to pay some or all employees that were told not to work." Across the economy, the researchers found that "about 43.5 million employees worked in establishments that paid at least some workers while they were not working."
Which cities saw the largest decreases in unemployment in June?
The Department of Labor has just released data on the the unemployment rate for urban areas from June. The unemployment rate was lower in "386 of the 389 metropolitan areas and higher in 3 areas," compared to June of last year.
At 2.4% unemployed, the Logan area of Utah and Idaho had the lowest rate, while Yuma, Arizona saw the highest at 20.4%. When compared to the national unemployment rate which stood at 6.1% in June, 261 areas recorded lower rates, 124 areas saw higher rates, and 4 stood at 6.1%.
To learn more check out the link to the interactive tool the department put together.
Negations over the Bipartisan infrastructure package are heating up on Capitol Hill. Will the increase in covid-19 cases help or hinder its passage... only time will tell. However, one thing we do know is where cases are rising -- fast.
Members of the House of Representatives say that the Senate's infrastructure will will need serious revisions. CNN's Manu Raju reports that Rep. Pete DeFazio said that it "was written by three people who have no knowledge of or expertise in transportation infrastructure.”
New York and California have imposed mandatory vaccines on their federal workers, starting in August.
The move is an attempt to re-energize the vaccine rollout as it has slowed down to a crawl across the country.
President Biden has encouraged states to offer a $100 gift to people who come forward to be vaccinated. Just under 50% of of the American population are fully vaccinated.
Paid leave credit available to employers
The IRS announced this week that eligible employers can claim the credits for providing leave to employees to accompany a family or household member or certain other individuals to obtain immunization relating to Covid-19 or to care for a family or household member or certain other individuals recovering from the immunization.
The paid sick and family leave credits reimburse eligible employers for the cost of providing paid sick and family leave for reasons related to Covid-19. This includes leave taken by employees to care for certain individuals to obtain immunization relating to Covid-19 or to recover from immunization relating to Covid-19. This new reason for paid sick or family leave also applies for the comparable credits for self-employed individuals. Self-employed individuals may claim comparable credits on the Form 1040, their individual income tax return.
Stimulus check live updates: welcome
Hello and welcome to our daily live blog for Friday 30 July, bringing you updates on a potential fourth stimulus check in the United States.
We'll also offer information on the third stimulus check, which began going out in March, as well as economic-support measures such as the new, expanded Child Tax Credit. Stay with us throughout the day for regular updates.