Local tax experts answer questions on expanded child tax credit

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – The newly expanded child tax credit is one of the largest expansions in the country’s history.

Val Palmer with Urban League explains what it might mean for you and your family.

“That’s going to be a lot of money that they can use toward rent, groceries, electricity. And it’s going to help bring children out of poverty,” Palmer says.

Starting July 15th, millions of families across the country will start to receive their first payment from the expanded child tax credit.

The maximum credit is $3,600 for children younger than six years old, and $3,000 for those between 6 and 17.

Half of it will be distributed monthly for six months, the rest will be claimed on your tax returns.

“Maybe they just had a child that was born in 2020, they want to add that child that didn’t get on their tax return when they filed,” Palmer explains, saying that you might need to make updates to your previous tax filings.

Families can opt out of receiving the monthly payments but still receive the full credit when they file for taxes.

“That’s a personal question that everyone has to answer: do I want to get it in small bites now, or do I want to wait and get it all at the end of the year?” says Joseph Lautiger, franchisee of H&R Block Chattanooga.

Lautiger says the expanded tax credit comes at a vulnerable time for many families.

“There’s still issues with the labor force, people going back to work, people trying to get child care so they can go back to work. I mean, I hear a lot of stories. But this kind of aid is something that’s beneficial to a great many people.”

To check your eligibility update your previous filings, check the page listed on the IRS website.

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