Fourth stimulus check and child tax credit summary: 3 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 Tuesday 3 August

Headlines

- CDC announces new 60-day eviction moratorium

- Ten million could lose unemployment benefits starting 6 September. (Details)

- White House did not move to postpone the federal eviction moratorium. Why? (Details)

- Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act unveiled on Sunday - when will it be voted on?

- Fourth stimulus check and the bipartisan infrastructure bill (Details)

- Pressure for a fourth round of stimulus checks is coming from various quarters (Details)

Useful information / links

- How many people will get the $1,600 tax refund payment? (Find out more)

- California Golden State stimulus check, information on payments for those with dependents. (Details)

- How much can you get from stimulus checks and the Child Tax Credit? (Find out)

- When will Golden State Stimulus payment arrive? (Details)

- 'Thank you' bonuses for educators - which states are sending them?

- When should I contact the IRS if my tax refund hasn't arrived yet?

Take a look at some of our related news articles:

Individual landlords who defy the new CDC eviction moratorium face steep fines and criminal penalties.

- Up to $250,000 and one year in jail if the eviction results in death

- Up to $100,000 and one year in jail if the eviction does not result in death

The moratorium on residential evictions lasts until October 3.

CRIMINAL PENALTIES

Under 18 U.S.C. 3559, 3571; 42 U.S.C. 271; and 42 CFR 70.18, a person violating this Order may be subject to a fine of no more than $100,000 or one year in jail, or both, if the violation does not result in a death, or a fine of no more than $250,000 or one year in jail, or both if the violation results in a death, or as otherwise provided by law. An organization violating this Order may be subject to a fine of no more than $200,000 per event if the violation does not result in a death or $500,000 per event if the violation results in a death or as otherwise provided by law. The U.S. Department of Justice may initiate criminal proceedings as appropriate seeking imposition of these criminal penalties.

- CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION

 

CONGRESS

Fourth stimulus check: Does the new bipartisan infrastructure plan include payments?

What does the new US infrastructure plan say about fourth stimulus check payments?

Does the bipartisan proposal mention funding for the additional check? Read more in this story.

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issues new 60-day eviction moratorium

The order applies to US counties with substantial COVID-19 community transmission rates.

The new moratorium will protect millions of renters from eviction but is slightly more limited than the one that expired on Saturday.

Could changes to the Child Tax Credit affect you?

The IRS wants to help families figure out if they are eligible for the new monthly payments, and how they can get them.

Factbox: What's in the US Senate's bipartisan $1 trillion infrastructure bill?

The Democratic-controlled U.S. Senate is working on a roughly $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill to update America's roads, bridges and broadband networks, clearing the way for a possible vote on the package later this week.

The legislation, President Joe Biden's top domestic priority, includes $550 billion in new spending, while the rest of the $1 trillion is comprised of previously approved funding.

Here are some of the details of the bipartisan bill:

NEW SPENDING

* Roads, bridges and major projects: $110 billion

* Passenger and freight rail: $66 billion

* Broadband infrastructure: $65 billion

* Water infrastructure, such as eliminating lead pipes: $55 billion

* Public transit: $39.2 billion

* Electric vehicle infrastructure, including chargers: $7.5 billion

NEW FINANCING

The plan has a number of proposals to finance the spending, including the following items and the revenue gains from each over the next decade.

* Repurposing unused COVID-19 relief funds: $210 billion

* Sales of future spectrum auctions and proceeds of February 2021 c-band auction: $87 billion

* Return of unemployment insurance funds from some states: $53 billion

* Delaying Medicare Part D rebate rule: $51 billion

* Applying information reporting requirements to cryptocurrency: $28 billion

* Reinstating Superfund fees: $14.5 billion

CDC extends federal eviction moratorium for 60 days -Schumer

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention extended a federal moratorium on evictions affecting 90 percent of the country for 60 days, said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

"I applaud the CDC for imposing an eviction moratorium for the vast majority of the population," the Democratic leader said n a statement. "For anyone to lose their home through no fault of their own is devastating, and it's shameful that Republicans in Congress aren’t lifting a finger to help prevent it from happening."

What does Sen. Mitch McConnell think about the bipartisan infrastructure bill?

UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS

How many people will lose unemployment benefits in September?

How many people will lose unemployment benefits in September?

In mid-July 2020, the United States was in the throws of confronting the second wave of covid-19 infections, and more than 30 million people were claiming unemployment benefits. Just two weeks ago, the total number of people reported to be receiving benefits had dropped by more than half to 13.2 million.

Read our full coverage for the number of people whose benefits will be cut on 6 September.

The Cut dives deep into how Black women have confronted workplace discrimination at alarming rates before and during the pandemic. With unemployment benefits set to end in early September, experts are concerned that inequities could be exacerbated even further.

Ohio Senator Rob Portman, who has played a leading role in the development of the bipartisan infrastructure package took to the floor to encourage his colleagues to vote in favor of its passage. The Senator all took a moment to bash the Biden administration and the tax increases on corporations the President had proposed to pay for the package.

US NEWS

Eviction moratorium: why has the White House not extended it?

Eviction moratorium: why has the White House not extended it?

The federal eviction moratorium ended on 31 July, leaving many families vulnerable.

The Aspen Institute estimates that more that 15 million people are currently living in households that owe an accumulative $20 billion to their landlords. Last month the Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey found that 3.6 million people faced eviction within the next two months.

Additionally, a recent report found that over $40 billion in rental assistance passed as a part of the American Rescue Plan had not been spent when the moratorium ended.

Read our full coverage for more on the White House's decision.

On Friday, the Department of Labor will release the unemployment numbers for July. Many experts and reporters are already projecting that the delta variant will have slowed job growth around the country.

Bernie Sanders tells Wolf Blitzer that he is hoping to really get started on the reconciliation package by the end of this week. Democrats have agreed to focus on the passage of the bipartisan infrastructure package and then move onto a more progressive piece of legislation.

Curious what a reconciliation bill is? Read our full coverage.

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

Next wave of Child Tax Credit payments will arrive next week

The second round of payments for the Child Tax Credit will be sent out by the IRS on 13 August. The first round of payments covered roughly 35 million families but officials are aware that some low-income families may have been missed out because the IRS did not have their details on file, and it is hoped that they will have provided their information in the meantime. 

If you did not receive the first round of payments but believe you should be entitled to the monthly child support, use the IRS' Non-filers Tool to ensure you don't miss out on thousands of dollars from the federal government. 

"We have a moral obscenity of child poverty in this country. Out of the 36 wealthiest nations, we rank fourth from last on high poverty rates. This will cut child poverty virtually in half."

"This child allowance will put us in line with other peer nations who understand, if you invest in children, your entire country will flourish. And giving middle-class families a break - 90% of American families will benefit from this - helps them with everything from diapers all the way, frankly, just to helping ends meet and relieving financial insecurity."

Cory Booker, Senator for New Jersey

CHILD TAX CREDIT

IRS Child Tax Credit portal: how can I use it to opt out?

An estimated 88% of American children will be covered by the expanded Child Tax Credit, which will be worth up to $300 per month for eligible children, and it is hoped to halve childhood poverty over the next 12 months.

In a statement released to publicise the new system, President Biden said the new Child Tax Credit payments would “give our nation’s hardworking families with children a little more breathing room when it comes to putting food on the table, paying the bills, and making ends meet.”

However the monthly payment structure may not suit everyone, and some families are choosing to opt out of the new programme in favour of a single tax credit. 

Read more

Stimulus checks kept 12.4m people out of poverty, study finds

A recent study from the Urban Institute found that the three rounds of stimulus checks have provided vital short-term support during the pandemic, estimating that another 12.4 million people would have fallen into poverty if not for the direct payments. 

Along with other federal relief programmes like the additional unemployment benefits and new Child Tax Credit system, the Urban Institute found that the childhood poverty rate has fallen by 81% when compared to what it would be without any benefits (from 30.1% to 5.6%).

Are stimulus checks a good idea?

Despite the calls, both from within Congress and across the country, for a fourth stimulus check not everyone is convinced of their benefits. President Biden has shifted his focus to more long-term ambitious like the new infrastructure proposals and there appears to be little appetite in the White House for another round of stimulus payments. 

In this video from Vox, leading economists explain why stimulus checks may actually do more harm than good and underline the risks of overheating the recovering US economy. 

Progressive Democrats propose $1,200 recurring stimulus check

New legislation proposed in the House of Representatives last weekend would see monthly payments worth up to $1,200 to eligible Americans. However the payments will not come into effect until 2023 if passed, meaning a considerable wait. 

The proposal was introduced by Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), and cosigned by in Reps. Cori Bush (D-Mo.), Dwight Evans (D-Pa.), Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.), and Pramila Jayapal (D-Calif.). It would create a $2.5 billion grant fund to run a programme from 2023 to 2027 with monthly checks worth up to $1,200 for adults and $600 for children. 

CHILD TAX CREDIT

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

The new-look Child Tax Credit overhauls not only the size of the payment on offer but also the way in which the money is distributed. No longer a single end-of-year tax credit, the new programme offers monthly payments for eligible families.

From 15 July the IRS began sending out the first round of recurring payments, worth up to $300 for each child under the age of six and $250 for those aged between six and 17. However there is concern that that it could have a knock-on effect come tax return time, with the possibility of having to repay some of these advanced payments.

Read more

US poverty rate plummets after recent stimulus spending

President Biden's American Rescue Plan, the $1.9 trillion stimulus bill passed in March, has been credited with slashing the US poverty in the first half of 2021. The package included $1,400 stimulus checks, extended the additional unemployment benefits and introduced the expanded Child Tax Credit. 

These figures show that poverty in the US fell by over 40% in the period since Biden took office and will strengthen calls for further stimulus spending to help continue the positive trend. 

CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS CHECKS

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

Lawmakers in Washington are continuing to discuss the fate of President Biden’s huge infrastructure proposal but there is one glaring omission from the legislation.

Biden is showing no sign of considering including a fourth stimulus check in the multi-trillion package, opting to favour less direct forms of financial stimulus. However many in Congress and across the United States would like to see another stimulus check and they will retain hope of convincing Biden of the merits.

Read more

Should you opt out of the Child Tax Credit?

The monthly payment structure included in the new Child Tax Credit programme is supposed to make household budgeting easier with regular payments, but this may not suit all families. In the past families would have received the credit as an annual lump sum, allowing them to reduce the size of their end-of-year tax bill or adding it to a tax refund. 

The monthly structure will reduce the amount on offer at the end of the year, but you can still choose to opt out of the monthly payments. Here's everything you need to know...

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

Calls for pandemic era stimulus programmes to be extended

Throughout the pandemic the federal government has implemented various programmes and tax breaks to assist Americans struggling to make ends meet. The three main programmes, the stimulus checks, Child Tax Credit expansion and additional unemployment benefits, are all due to end within the next month. 

This is causing concern that the vital support is being withdrawn too early and could see the US slide back into recession without the correct level of financial stimulus. Biden is currently trying to pass a revised $1 trillion infrastructure plan, but the most recent version contains none of these programmes. 

Child Tax Credit reduces US poverty rates

The overhaul of the Child Tax Credit was one of the key inclusions in the American Rescue Plan signed into law by President Biden in March. It provides not only a more generous benefits, but also introduces a new payment structure which will allow families to budget more effectively. 

This report suggests that the new programme has reduced instances of childhood poverty by as much as 61%, strengthening calls for the new Child Tax Credit to be made permanent. 

CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS CHECK

California Golden State stimulus check: when is the new payment coming?

With no sign of a fourth stimulus check from the federal government, some states have sought to provide their own short-term financial boost to residents.

On 12 July, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed SB 129 into law, approving the majority of the state’s 2012/22 budgetary agreement. The centre-piece inclusion in the package was the $100 billion California Comeback Plan, the largest economic recovery bill in the state’s history.

It included a round of stimulus checks covering around two-thirds of Californians, which are expected to be sent out in September.

Find out more

POLITICS

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

After days of debate in the Senate over the bipartisan infrastructure bill, the upper chamber's majority leader, Chuck Schumer, says the vote on the package could occur this week.

Full story

CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS CHECKS

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

Lawmakers in Washington are continuing to discuss the fate of President Biden’s huge infrastructure proposal but there is one glaring omission from the legislation.

Biden is showing no sign of considering including a fourth stimulus check in the multi-trillion package, opting to favour less direct forms of financial stimulus.

However many in Congress and across the United States would like to see another stimulus check and they will retain hope of convincing Biden of the merits.

Full story

Stimulus checks live updates: welcome

Welcome to our daily live blog for Tuesday 3 August 2021, bringing you the latest updates on a potential fourth stimulus check in the United States.

We'll also be providing you with info on the third stimulus check, which began going out earlier this year, and other economic-aid schemes such as the expanded Child Tax Credit.

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