Fourth stimulus check and child tax credit summary: 2 August 2021

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Fourth stimulus check and Child Tax Credit live updates: can it be passed in August? Dates, tax return, opt-out...

Stimulus checks: live updates Monday 2 August

Headlines

-Senate finalized the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, when will it be brought up for a vote? (Details)

-Senate Majority Leader Schumer confident about future of infrastructure bill (Full story)

-To slow the spread of covid-19 and prevent another economic collapse, the federal government and some private companies are mandating vaccination for their employees. (Details)

-Various organizations pushing for a fourth round of stimulus checks. Which ones? (Details)

-California's are set to receive another stimulus check. When will it arrive? (Details)

- States sending 'thank you' bonuses to educators (Find out more)

-The next payment for the Child Tax Credit will be made on August 13th, but millions of low-income families will miss the second payment (Details)

- Deadline for August Child Tax Credit opt-out is on Monday (More info)

Useful information / links

-Florida Tax Holiday -- dates, duration, affected items and price limits. (Details)

How many Americans will receive the $1600 Tax refund payment? (Details)

-Can Child Tax Credit payments affect my tax return in 2022? (Details)

- Calculate how much can you get from stimulus checks and the Child Tax Credit

- What is a reconciliation bill and how does it differ from a normal bill?

- Find out when to contact the IRS if you're still waiting for your tax refund

Have a read of some of our related news articles:

Still waiting for your IRS tax refund?

Unfortunately the chaos of the last 18 months and the various new programmes introduced by the federal government left the IRS with a backlog of roughly 35 million unprocessed tax returns. This has led to a delay in tax refunds for the millions of filers who are due a payment.

Anyone waiting for a tax refund from the IRS can utilise the Where's My Refund? online portal to check the status of their payment by following the instructions below...

CHILD TAX CREDIT

Child Tax Credit 2021: why are many American households missing their payments?

The Biden administration and many Democrats on Capitol Hill have argued that the newly enhanced Child Tax Credit will cut child poverty in half this year. But, there is one major catch: low-income families have to get the money.

After the first payment was made on 15 July, the People’s Policy Project released a blog highlighting that IRS was missing information on around seven million children whose families would be eligible to receive the payment. Many of these children have parents or guardians who may not be required to file a tax return, which is how the IRS collects the information needed to distribute the payments.

Read more

Stimulus checks had positive impact on low-income households

Throughout the pandemic stimulus checks have been the most immediate form of financial relief offered by the federal government to struggling Americans. So far three rounds of the direct payments have been passed and Claudia Sahm, policy expert and scholar on macro/inequality, shows that they have sheltered families from the worst of the economic fallout. 

A typical family of four would have received $11,400 since the CARES Act was first signed into law in March 2020, representing 20% of the median income over that time. 

Calls for an extension to the Child Tax Credit

The American Rescue Plan provided just a single year of funding for the reformed Child Tax Credit, with the current system set to end when claimants file their 2021 tax return. However President Biden is eager to include a four-year extension in his new infrastructure bill, something that has support from both fellow Democrats and research groups. 

CHILD TAX CREDIT

What should I do if my Child Tax Credit amount is wrong?

On 15 July the IRS began sending out payments as part of the new-look Child Tax Credit, the first of its kind in American history. The United States Treasury Department has confirmed that more than 35 million families, with roughly 60 million children, received the support.

The total cost of that first round of payments was $15 billion, meaning that the average payment was $423. However some have found that their payment was less than they expected; what can you do if your Child Tax Credit payment amount is wrong?

Read more

"In the richest country in the world, we have a moral responsibility to look after our most vulnerable —yet we have one of the highest rates of child poverty in the developed world.

"We must make the expansion of the Child Tax Credit permanent and end this moral sin."

Cory Booker, Senator for New Jersey

How to opt out of the IRS Child Tax Credit

If you're currently receiving the Child Tax Credit in the form of a monthly payment you may want to consider opting out so you receive the money as a single end-of-year credit. You will not lose any of your entitlement, which could be as much as $3,000 per child, but you will avoid the risk of having to repay a proportion of the money if you get a significant pay rise before the end of the year. 

CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS CHECKS

US stimulus check: which states are providing their own payments?

Despite calls from progressives within the Democratic Party and from Americans across the country, President Biden has remained unwilling to push for a fourth stimulus check in recent months. His first major legislative achievement, the American Rescue Plan, included a $1,400 payment but the subject has gone quiet since then.

With nothing forthcoming from the federal government, some states are choosing to provide their own direct payments for residents. Here's where the stimulus checks are being sent out, and how much they could be worth to recipients...

Read more

Deadline for Child Tax Credit information updates

The next round of payments for the Child Tax Credit is set to go out from 13 August, but today is the last day to make any changes to your payment information ahead of that date. If you want to opt out of the monthly payments, update your personal information or change your payment details you have until the end of 2 August to do so and have it applied this month. 

GOLDEN STATE STIMULUS CHECKS

Golden State Stimulus Check: How much will taxpayers with dependents receive? 

The California Comeback Plan will expand on many of the programmes and initiatives first introduced in the Golden State Stimulus bill earlier this year. The CCP was the result of an enormous $75 billion budget surplus that Gov. Gavin Newsom has opted to spend on speeding up the state's economic recovery. 

Individual filers will be in line to receive a stimulus check worth $600, but how much will parents be able to claim on behalf of tax dependents?

Read more

Watch out for Child Tax Credit scammers

Throughout the pandmeic the federal government has been providing various forms of financial relief for struggling Americans. Unfortunately, as was the case with the stimulus checks and additional unemployment benefits, unscruplous criminals have sought to take advantage and are targetting the Child Tax Credit payments. 

Be cautious about any messages you receive purporting to be from the IRS or other federal bodies, and always check with the IRS before handing over any personal details. 

CHILD TAX CREDIT

Child Tax Credit 2021: why are many American households missing their payments?

The Biden administration and many Democrats on Capitol Hill have argued that the newly enhanced Child Tax Credit will cut child poverty in half this year. But, there is one major catch: low-income families have to get the money.

After the first payment was made on 15 July, the People’s Policy Project released a blog highlighting that IRS was missing information on around seven million children whose families would be eligible to receive the payment. Many of these children have parents or guardians who may not be required to file a tax return, which is how the IRS collects the information needed to distribute the payments.

Read more

Child Tax Credit proves effective at tackling childhoold poverty

So far the IRS has only sent out a single round of payments as part of the new-look Child Tax Credit programme but the benefits are already being felt for millions of American families. When the American Rescue Plan was unveiled in January the White House claimed that the new tax credit could halve the number of children in poverty during its initial 12-month lifespan. According to the New York Times, that process has already began. 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis receiving some criticismm for how he chose to disburse bonuses to teachers and other state workers.

Rather than sending the money directly to countries and other municipalities, Gov. DeSantis opted to have the financial giant Fidelity help in the distribution. will

Full details here.

If there is not a reconciliation bill in the House and if the Senate does not pass a reconciliation bill, we will uphold our end of the bargain and not pass the bipartisan bill until we get all of these investments in

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Member of Congress

Yesterday, Conservative Democratic Senator from West Virginia Joe Manchin, spoke with CNN's Jake Tapper about his belief that the federal eviction moratorium should be extended.

This move is also supported by many progressive members of the House who Manchin normally disagrees with on most policy areas.

 

POLITICS

When is the Senate voting on the bipartisan infrastructure bill? Could it be passed this week?

When is the Senate voting on the bipartisan infrastructure bill? Could it be passed this week?

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act has been finalized by a group of bipartisan Senators.

The bill is over 2,500 pages and will cost over a trillion dollars.

Leaders who helped to negotiate the deal are cautiously optimistic that the bill could pass as soon as this week.

How much did the federal government spend on unemployment benefits early in the pandemic?

The Delta variant has led to a rapid increase in covid-19 cases. At the same time, data from the US Department of the Labor shows that unemployment claims are no longer declining, plateauing at their current rate with many worried they will begin to increase once again.

Capitol Hill is bustling after news that the bipartisan infrastructure package has been finalized in the Senate. 

A vote on the bill called the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is expected when lawmakers return from their summer recess later this month.

How do the American Jobs Plan and the Bipartisan Infrastructure package (just finalized this weekend) differ?

 JIM WATSON / AFP

Is the delta variant of covid-19 leading to an increase in unemployment claims?

Claims are increasing but it is still too early to tell if this trend will continue.

Last Thursday, the Department of Labor released a report showing that unemployment claims for the week ending on 10 July increased by more than 582,403 from the previous week to 13,156,252. While higher than recent weeks, the figure is still significantly lower than the 31,898,353 claims filed during the same week in 2020.

The national insured unemployment rate which represents the total number of workers receiving unemployment benefits within the country held steady at 2.4% for the week ending on 17 July. For the previous week, states with the highest insured unemployment rate were "California (4.4), Nevada (4.3), New Jersey (3.8), Rhode Island (3.8), Illinois (3.7), New York (3.5), Pennsylvania (3.5), Connecticut (3.4), and the District of Columbia (3.2)."

Senators unveil final version of the bipartisan infrastructure package, now called the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Curious what it includes? Read our full coverage.

CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS CHECKS

US stimulus check: which states are providing their own payments?

US stimulus check: which states are providing their own payments?

With prospects of a fourth stimulus check seemingly on hold, various states are passing their own legislation to send one-time payments to deserving residents.

Despite calls from progressives within the Democratic Party and from Americans across the country, President Biden has remained unwilling to push for a fourth stimulus check in recent months.

Read our full coverage on which states are offering stimulus checks here.

Which lawmakers are in favor of eliminating student debt in the United States?

Senator from Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren spoke on Meet the Press urging the President to forgive up to $50,000 worth of student debt for each borrower. For Sen. Warren, this debt represents a drag on an economy in desperate need of spending. Those in support of this measure argue that if borrowers were to save or spend many on consumer goods and services, the economy would be stronger since currently so much money goes to paying down debt that does not stimulate the economy.

Many in the United States believed that the days of the country confirming more than 100,000 cases of covid-19 each day were behind us. However, just Friday the nation surpassed that grim milestone and in some states like Florida, more infections were confirmed this weekend then at any other point in the pandemic.

On Sunday, Meet the Press covered the surge in cases, and reported on how this fourth wave jeopardizes the economic recovery.

After a stressful year financially, many parents across the US rejoice after receiving the first installment of the 2021 Child Tax Credit.

When did the eviction moratorium end?

The federal eviction moratorium ended on 31 July. Some states have opted to extend their own, but millions of renters and homeowners are now facing the reality that they may be forced from their homes.

As the deadline approached, information that the US government failed to spend $46 billion on rental assistance was made public.

Yesterday, in a rare Sunday session, the Senate introduced the finalized text of the infrastructure bill

 

How has pandemic related aid from the federal government impacted rates of poverty in the United States?

Aid has sent poverty rates to their lowest level in years. The New York Times reports that, "the number of poor Americans is expected to fall by nearly 20 million from 2018 levels, a decline of almost 45 percent."

Read the full story here.

CHILD TAX CREDIT

Child Tax Credit 2021: why are many American households missing their payments?

Why have so many families in the US been skipped over for the Child Tax Credit?

The Biden administration and many Democrats on Capitol Hill have argued that the newly enhanced Child Tax Credit will cut child poverty in half this year. But, there is one major catch: low-income families have to get the money.

Read our full coverage for more details on the how the IRS has failed to register millions of qualified families and what they are doing to solve the problem.

Schumer says infrastructure bill to be approved in matter of days

Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer said says he expects the landmark $550bn bipartisan infrastructure deal to be passed "in a matter of days".

“In the end, the bipartisan group of senators have produced a bill that will dedicate substantial resources to prepare, maintain and upgrade our nation’s critical infrastructure,” Schumer said.

“Every senator can look at bridges and roads and need for more broadband, waterways in their states, seaports airports, and see the benefits, the very concrete benefits, no pun intended, of this legislation,” Maine Senator Susan Collins, one of the GOP negotiators, said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” program.

Where's my IRS tax refund?

The tax agency is working through a backlog of unprocessed tax returns believed to have reached 35 million in July. Understandably, this has had a knock-on effect for those waiting for a tax refund from the IRS. 

More people that ever are expected to be eligible for the payment after the American Rescue Plan retrospectively made the first $10,200 of unemployment benefits received in 2020 tax-free. If you're still waiting for a refund, here's everything you need to know...

The history of the Child Tax Credit

The American Rescue Plan introduced sweeping changes to the Child Tax Credit to make it much more valuable and open the support up to low-income families for the first time. However the programme itself is nothing new and was actually first introduced during the Clinton administration. This short video shows how the Child Tax Credit has changed over time to become a source of direct payments for families. 

CHILD TAX CREDIT

Can Child Tax Credit payments affect my tax return in 2022?

The new-look Child Tax Credit scheme provides monthly direct payments for the first time, but you should be aware of how it will affect your 2021 tax return.

Find out more

Child Tax Credit

Child Tax Credit 2021: when is the deadline to opt out from August payment?

The deadline for opting out of monthly Child Tax Credit scheme ahead of the August payment is today, Monday 2nd.

Find out more

STIMULUS CHECKS

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

We take a look back over the three stimulus checks that have been sent out so far in the US since the coronavirus pandemic began in early 2020.

CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS CHECKS

Fourth stimulus check: which entities are pushing for a new payment?

It has been over four months since the American Rescue Plan was passed and lawmakers, individuals and research groups are extolling the virtues of the direct payments.

Full story

Stimulus checks live updates: welcome

Hello and welcome to our daily live blog for Monday August, providing you with the latest news on a possible fourth stimulus check in the US.

We'll also bring you information on the third stimulus check, which began going out earlier this year as part of President Joe Biden's $1.9tn covid-19 relief bill, and other economic-aid measures such as the expanded Child Tax Credit.

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