Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Child tax credit... to many don't know about it

 As some of you who have younger kids, the tax credit checks have already gone out to those who the IRS can recognize from past tax filings. But according to the IRS, some 851 families in 01702 and 403 families are not getting the cash and tax credit. My thought was for the schools who are providing meals to anyone who wants one, ask those who are obviously in need if the parents know how to get the government benefits. At tonight's school committee meeting this will be on the agenda. Adam and Bob have both said in an e-mail to me that they are on it. I wish I could see the CC and the Mayor get on it as well. Or even the candidates that are running. This is real money that have no restrictions attached.

From the Globe:

The child allowance is grounded in the idea that raising children is expensive, and the federal government has a long-term stake in their health and well-being. Families will receive up to $300 monthly for every child under 5, and up to $250 monthly for every child age 6-17. Half of the credit will be delivered each month through December; the other half will be distributed in tax returns next April. The amount of the credit decreases proportionate to income, but only the wealthiest families would receive nothing — for example, the credit would drop to $0 for a married couple with one child who make $440,000, according to the Congressional Research Service.

On July 15, the IRS will begin sending monthly checks to almost all families with children in the United States — the official launch of President Biden’s flagship antipoverty program. Hailed by advocates as a transformative way to halve child poverty, the effort is also a national experiment in something akin to a universal basic income.

But in order to fully live up to its promise, the money must reach everyone who is eligible to get it. And that’s proving to be a major hurdle.

Both the IRS and local community groups are warning that a significant number of families who most need the relief risk falling through the cracks because they are not known to the IRS. In Massachusetts, roughly 58,000 children who are eligible for the money may not receive it, according to a ZIP code level analysis by the IRS.

That includes children whose parents earn too little money to be required to file taxes, and families with mixed-immigration status, in which the children are citizens but the parents are not. (Any child with a Social Security number is eligible for the credit.) The number of children most at risk of missing out is highest in a Framingham ZIP code, followed closely by ZIP codes in Everett, Malden, Revere, Dorchester, Lynn, and Chelsea.

“They’re the ones who need it the most. In that sense, it’s failing the group that really needs that intervention,” said Dr. Lucy Marcil, cofounder of Boston Medical Center’s StreetCred program, which provides free tax services to families. It is one of the only free tax preparation programs that remained in Boston after tax season ended, even though many families need help now to get the credits.


At July 26, 2021 at 3:14 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

How do you think we can work here in Framingham to make sure those eligible get this money?

At July 27, 2021 at 12:37 PM , Blogger jim pillsbury said...

I wrote to Adam Freudburg and asked if the school could help getting the word out. Both he and Bob Trembly have assured me that they will do everything they can to reach those who could be receiving the benefits. He said at the last SC meeting, they have volunteer tax preparers ready to help. My thought was since the schools provide meals to many kids who are food challenged, the parents would be most likely to be eligible for the benefits.
My thought was that the councilors from 01702 should be holding neighborhood meetings in the areas where the need is greatest.


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