Fourth stimulus check 2021 latest – New checks being sent July 15 amid calls for more cash to be given to all Americans

NEW stimulus checks targeted at hard-hit families in the form of an expanded child tax credit will be sent out on July 15.

"Nearly all" working families will see $250 to $300 per child automatically sent to their bank accounts, the White House has said.

The "child tax credit update portal" allows families to see if they're eligible for the enhanced child credit and how to monitor their payments accordingly.

Meanwhile, there have been calls for a fourth stimulus check from Congress to continue as Congress and the White House have made little progress on the issue.

Despite calls for more relief, the Press Secretary has insisted that President Joe Biden has already proposed plans he believes will be "most effective for the short term."

Read our live blog below for the latest on stimulus checks...

  • Cybele Mayes-Osterman

    NEW TOOL LETS LOW INCOME FAMILIES CLAIM CASH WITHOUT FILING

    A new tool is targeted at low-income American families who do not normally file tax returns.

    You don't have to file a tax return if you earn less than $12,200 a year as a single taxpayer or $24,400 as a married couple filing jointly.

    Those eligible can use the new portal to provide the IRS with their name, address, and social security number.

    The app is not to be used by Americans who have already filed 2020 tax returns.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    HOUSE MONEY

    Americans behind on their mortgages may be eligible for "secret" stimulus money. Most people are familiar with the American Rescue Plan which helps taxpayers struggling during the Covid pandemic.

    Yet, the Homeowners Assistance Fund (HAF) is less well known and helps folks struggling with their house payments. The fund helps those facing delinquencies and foreclosures due to the lockdowns caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

    According to the IRS, the HAF is “to prevent mortgage delinquencies and defaults, foreclosures, loss of utilities or home energy services, and displacement of homeowners experiencing financial hardship after January 21, 2020.

    "Funds from the HAF may be used for assistance with mortgage payments, homeowner’s insurance, utility payments, and other specified purposes.

    "The law prioritizes funds for homeowners who have experienced the greatest hardships, leveraging local and national income indicators to maximize the impact.”

  • Cybele Mayes-Osterman

    PARENTS WITH NEWBORNS TO RECEIVE EXTRA CASH

    Families with newborn babies will qualify for payments worth up to $3,600, according to CNET.

    Households with adopted babies can also receive the checks providing they are US citizens.

    The amount will be capped at $3,600 and is dependent on household income.

    Families who are expecting a baby to arrive this year can also claim the child tax credit cash.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    WHAT IS THE MAXIMUM CREDIT AVAILABLE TO TAXPAYERS WITH A MODIFIED ADJUSTED GROSS INCOME?

    • $75,000 or less for singles,
    • $112,500 or less for heads of household and
    • $150,000 or less for married couples filing a joint return and qualified widows and widowers.

    If you earn more than this, the extra amount above the original $2,000 credit — either $1,000 or $1,600 per child — is reduced by $50 for every $1,000 in modified AGI.

    PAY DAY

    You may be sent $500 payments per month as part of the experimental universal basic income program. The pilot programme received more attention during the pandemic as millions of workers were idled.

    Now places from Compton, California, to Richmond, Virginia, are trying out guaranteed income programs, as researchers hope to get a fuller picture of what happens when a range of people are sent payments that guarantee a basic living, AP reported.

    The pilot program which is funded by private donations, sees 100 county residents making less than $46,900 annually getting a boost of $500 a month for a year.

    The income threshold was based on 80% of the county’s average median income, meaning it includes both the poor and a slice of the middle class — people who face financial stress but might not ordinarily qualify for government aid based on income.

    More on the story here.

    HOW TO CALCULATE HOW MUCH YOU'RE OWED FROM THE CHILD TAX CREDIT

    The fastest way to determine eligibility is to use the child tax credit calculator to estimate if you qualify and how much assistance you will receive.

    The credit amount is based on the family's yearly income.

    Two-parent families who make up to $150,000 combined will be eligible for the credit, as will families with a single "head of household" who makes up to $112,500 a year.

    Single parents who make up to $75,000 will also be eligible for the credit.

    Other factors such as citizenship and joint custody of children can play a role, so be sure to review the rules of the initiative.

    FED CHAIRMAN FEARS MORE STIMULUS COULD ACCELERATE INFLATION

    One of the major fears over additional stimulus checks is inflation. 

    Testifying in a hearing before a US House of Representatives panel last week, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said that inflation had already increased “notably”.

    Economists have raised another concern that if the private sector cannot pick up the economic burden from the government then upcoming quarters will see a subtraction in economic growth, the New York Times reported.

    STIMULUS PAYMENTS TO BE DEPOSITED INTO BANK ACCOUNTS AUTOMATICALLY NEXT MONTH

    New stimulus payments of up to $300 per month will begin to hit bank accounts in July.

    The recently expanded Child Tax Credit means that most families with children in the US can expect the checks for the rest of 2021.

    The Child Tax Credit used to be capped at $2,000 for most families, however, Joe Biden's administration expanded it for the year in an effort to pump money into the economy amid the ongoing pandemic.

    The expanded amount allots $3,600 per child for children under six, and $3,000 per child for kids aged six to 17.

    The payments will be made in $300 or $250 installments for eligible families beginning on July 15 and continuing on the 15th of every month for the rest of the year.

    STATS SHOW AMERICANS DON'T NEED MORE STIMULUS CASH

    Statistics  released by the government agency on Wednesday show that 21 states have reported a decrease in unemployment since May, 28 have held firm and just one state reported an increase in its number of jobless residents.

    A drop in unemployment is typically an indication that the economy is recovering. 

    This could jeopardize any plans for a fourth round of stimulus payments, at least for the moment, with the latest data supporting the GOP's general opinion that additional federal aid is not necessary.

    • Niamh Cavanagh

      WHO'S ELIGIBLE FOR EXPANDED CHILD TAX CREDIT?

      Most families are eligible for child tax credit (CTC), as long as the children are either a US citizen, US national, or a so-called US resident alien.

      The children must also have lived with the person who's claiming for more than half of the tax year and be claimed as a dependent on the tax return.

      Most taxpayers have previously been able to reduce their federal income tax bill by up to $2,000 per child. However, under the new law, families can get an increased tax break of $3,000 for every child aged six to 17 for the 2021 tax year only.

    • Niamh Cavanagh

      SUZE ORMAN WARNS PARENTS NOT TO SPEND TAX CREDITS STRAIGHT AWAY

      Money expert Suze Orman has warned parents not to spend child tax credits straight away – and explained how to make the most of them.

      The boosted child tax credits are worth up to $3,600 per child but will be issued as monthly payments from July 15.

      Eligible families will then receive checks of between $250 to $300 until mid-December, and the second half will land in bank accounts next year.

      Writing on her blog, Mrs Orman warned households that the cash will be "a waste" if you don't have a plan for using it.

      She said: "If you don’t commit to specific uses now, you and I both know what’s going to happen: The money will just get spent—likely on wants, not needs.

      "What a waste that would be."

    • Cybele Mayes-Osterman

      BONUS PAYMENTS GOING OUT TO MILLIONS OF TAXPAYERS

      It’s reported that 1.1million plus-up payments, worth more than $2.5billion, have been sent as part of the latest package, according to CBS.

      The IRS has stated that these supplemental funds are "for people who earlier in March received payments based on their 2019 tax returns but are eligible for a new or larger payment based on their recently processed 2020 tax returns".

      Americans may receive a plus-up payment if their income dropped last year compared to 2019 or if a dependent has been added to their tax return.

      It’s reported that more than eight million plus-up payments have been sent in total.

    • Niamh Cavanagh

      HERE'S HOW YOU CAN CLAIM YOU CHILD TAX CREDITS USING THE IRS' NEW TRACKING TOOL

      The IRS has launched a new tracking tool that will help low-income American families file for child tax credits.

      Monthly payments worth up to $300 will be sent out to homes across the country from July 15.

      The app is targeted at low-income Americans who don't generally earn enough to file an income tax return.

      You don't have to file a tax return if you earn less than $12,200 a year as a single taxpayer or $24,400 as a married couple filing jointly.

      Those eligible can use the app to provide the IRS with their name, address, and social security number.

    • Cybele Mayes-Osterman

      IRS WARNS TAXPAYERS OF SCAMMERS TARGETING STIMULUS

      The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has urged households to be alert for criminals getting in touch by phone, email, text or on social media.

      The crooks claim they need to verify your information in order for you to get advance child tax credit payments.

      But in reality, it's used "as a cover to steal your information and money", the IRS tweeted yesterday.

      The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) last week also warned about scammers targeting families waiting for the cash too.

      It said scammers claim they can help you get your payments earlier, get you more money or other untruthful claims.

    • Niamh Cavanagh

      THE IRS WILL SEND OUT $300 PAYMENTS ON FAMILIES ON THESE DATES THE REST OF THE YEAR

      The IRS said on Monday it has begun sending letters to more than 36 million families eligible to receive payments under the new Child Tax Credit.

      The $300 relief payments will begin on July 15 and continue monthly through to December.

      The dates after July are:

      • August 13
      • September 15
      • October 15
      • November 15
      • December 15
      • Niamh Cavanagh

        WILL THERE BE A FOURTH STIMULUS CHECK?

        There has been no announcement for a fourth stimulus check although more than 2.4million people have backed a petition asking for all Americans to receive a $2,000 check a month.

      • Cybele Mayes-Osterman

        CHILD TAX CREDIT NOW REFUNDABLE

        Before the America Rescue Plan, the child and dependent care credit were nonrefundable, meaning you could reduce your tax bill to zero but you would not receive a refund on anything left over.

        But now the credit is refundable, meaning even those who don't owe taxes will still receive money back.

        For the 2021 tax year, the credit amount begins to decrease when the taxpayer's income or household adjusted gross income reaches $125,000.

        The credit is decreased by 50percent for any amount between $125,000 and $183,000.

        From there it is phased out to 20percent until the income reaches $400,000.

      • Niamh Cavanagh

        NEXT ROUND OF CHECKS COULD HIT YOUR BANK ACCOUNT AUTOMATICALLY

        New proposals have been made by US lawmakers which could mean that future stimulus check payments could hit your bank account automatically.

        The lawmakers want to further the latest round of stimulus checks which has already delivered $1,400 to each eligible adult and child under the American Rescue Plan during the Covid pandemic.

        Seven Democrats from the House Ways and Means Committee had expressed their support for another round of stimulus checks.

        It was signed by 26 Democrats, which had been pushing for the enactment of “automatic stabilizers.”  

        They believed that this would help lawmakers avoid negotiations tied to any future relief package, allowing for faster distribution.  

      • Cybele Mayes-Osterman

        NEW TAX RULE LETS YOU CLAIM FOR CHILDCARE COSTS

        If you care for one child or dependent, you can claim up to $8,000 in care-related costs.

        Those who care for more than one child or dependent can claim up to $16,000.

        Eligible expenses will typically include costs associated with caring for a child or relative with disabilities, including transportation, daycare, and babysitters.

        Anyone who is eligible could receive up to 50 percent back in a cash refund for such expenses.

        The costs can be claimed back in your 2021 tax return, however, there's a catch: you must start gathering information immediately to ensure to don't miss out on any money when you file your taxes next year.

      • Cybele Mayes-Osterman

        HOW MANY AMERICANS WILL RECEIVE MONTHLY PAYMENTS?

        There will be six checks issued this year while the remaining amount will be claimed when Americans file their 2022 tax returns.

        Around 90 per cent of families will be eligible for the monthly payments.

        The child tax credit is set to expire in 2022 but Biden spoke about plans to expand $3,600 credits until 2025.

        Checks are being sent out monthly as the Biden Administration thought cash-strapped Americans could not afford to wait until April to receive their payment.

      • Cybele Mayes-Osterman

        WHITE HOUSE COMMENTS ON FOURTH STIMULUS POSSIBILITY

        President Biden appears reluctant to introduce monthly checks worth up to $2,000.

        But, the White House hasn't completely ruled out introducing another payment in the coming months.

        Press secretary Jen Psaki said: "He’s happy to hear from a range of ideas on what would be most effective and what’s most important to the economy moving forward.”

        She added that Biden has already proposed plans he believes will be "most effective for the short term."

      • Cybele Mayes-Osterman

        HOW LONG WILL THE CHILD TAX CREDIT CONTINUE?

        The federal child tax credit payment will continue through until the end of 2021 and the money will arrive on the 15th of every month.

        The expanded program includes $3,600 for each eligible child, which works out to be about $250 or $300 per month from July 15 until the end of this year.

        These payments differ from the stimulus checks rolled out as part of President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion relief legislation signed in March.

        This also funded the expansion of the federal child tax credit that will pay families up to $3,600, which would multiply depending on the number of eligible children they have.

      • Cybele Mayes-Osterman

        WHAT TO DO IF YOUR STIMULUS IS DELAYED

        There are a number of reasons why your check might be delayed, including a physical check being stuck en route in the mail.

        There also could be information you need to act on, such as updating your banking information or mailing address.

        To get an update on the status of your payment, use the Get My Payment tool on the IRS' website.

        There, you'll be asked to enter your Social Security number, date of birth, street address and ZIP or postal code.

        The tool will display a message with information about your payment, including when the payment was sent to you, when it's due to arrive, and the payment method through which you will receive the funds.

      • Cybele Mayes-Osterman

        STRUGGLING HOMEOWNERS CAN APPLY FOR MORE ASSISTANCE

        Struggling homeowners can apply for extra stimulus relief as part of a $10billion Homeowner's Assistance Fund.

        The US Treasury says the program is also aimed at preventing foreclosures, the loss of utilities or home energy services, and the displacement of homeowners suffering financial hardship.

        Homeowners are advised to apply for the funding if they are struggling with expenses, according to Yahoo! Finance.

        To qualify, homeowners must have lower incomes and have suffered a financial hardship such as a job loss after January 21, 2020.

        Applicants must have income equal to or less than 150 percent of their area's median income.

        For homeowners applying for HAF help, they must also hold a mortgage balance of less than $548,250 as of 2021.

      • Cybele Mayes-Osterman

        SEVEN INFLUENTIAL CONGRESS MEMBERS WRITE TO BIDEN FOR MORE STIMULUS

        Last month, seven members of the influential House Ways and Means Committee sent out a letter petitioning President Biden to send out a fourth, and even fifth stimulus check.

        The letter stated that "most people spent relief checks on monthly expenses or essentials such as food, utilities, rent and mortgage payments."

        The lawmakers argued that two additional stimulus payments could bring the number of Americans in poverty from 44million to 16million.

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