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On September 15th, 2021, many Americans didn’t receive their expected Child Tax Credit direct deposits, according to hundreds of reports given to the staff of MHA Times. This delay has left many tax payers in financial hardship. The IRS is aware of the situation, and Americans are left waiting to hear an update with a solution. In the meantime, many are once again struggling financially because they did not receive the advancement on their Child Tax Credit (CTC), as they had expected. 

Child Care Tax Credit and The American Rescue Plan

The American Rescue Plan was signed into law on March 11th, 2021, by President Joseph Biden, according to www.whitehouse.com.  Among many parts to stabilize the American economy, there was a change in the Child Tax Credit. The credit was raised from $2,000 to $3,000 per child and to $3,600 for children 6 and under. The age limit for dependent children in order for families to qualify for the CTC was also raised from age 16 to 17. Additionally, otherwise eligible tax payers were set to receive partial advancements on the tax credit by the 15th of every month; from July through December of 2021. This was an optional advanced monthly payment of $300 for children 6 and under and $250 for children between the ages of 7 and 17. Additional information about eligibility for the CTC can be found at www.irs.gov/credits-deductions/advance-child-tax-credit-payments-in-2021.

American Family Hardships caused by the Covid-19 Pandemic

The economic stimulus advanced CTC payment, once it began was a sense of needed financial stability for many tax payers. The Covid-19 Pandemic caused increased unemployment and economic hardship for many Americans. As reported on by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on www.bls.gov, unemployment drastically rose from 3.6% in the first quarter of 2020, to 13% in the second quarter. Entire industries temporarily shut down for periods of time throughout the United States, companies cut back to essential staff, and prices skyrocketed across the country as the demand greatly surpassed the supply on household items.  

There was also a delay in processing many tax returns and refunds, which caused additional hardships for families. Many Americans were counting on their refunds to stabilize their family’s finances but the usual 21 days to process turned into months of delay, for many Americans, as the IRS was dealing with their own pandemic difficulties; including being left with reduced staff due to Covid-19 related causes.

Late CTC Payments Increasing Hardship on Americans. 

Many Americans received a delay in the advanced payment, which they had believed they could count on, and this caused hardship including not being able to buy prescription medication for their children, groceries for the month, pay monthly living expenses, or finally get ahead after nearly a year and half of economic hardship. 

Americans Once Again Falling Behind Financially

The first two payments in July and August allowed families to begin to catch up and then missing the third payment that they counted on left them falling behind again. “We have had our payment on time the last two months. We trusted that September’s payment would be on time. It never showed up. I don’t think the IRS understands how crucial those payments are. Families, like ours, depend on those payments to help ease the burden this pandemic has caused. Grocery prices are through the roof. Rent is rising daily in our town. This has proved, yet again, that we cannot depend on the government to help us in times of need” said Samantha Robles of Boise, Idaho. 

The delay has caused not only hardship, but feelings of hopelessness when families had just started to feel relief. Rochelle Sheffield, out of Texas had not gotten a chance to finish catching up and the delay has caused devastating consequences. “My family has been impacted because we have been using the money to get caught up on our bills, we have fallen behind on due to Covid. Now we may face eviction and repossession on our stuff. We were just there, so close to being 100% caught up, now nope.”

Americans Not Able to Financially Advance

Many Americans counted on the advance payment to get them ahead with purchases outside of their current monthly expenses. This included vehicle expenses, medical procedures and legal fees. Latia Flenoy, a full-time working mother of two, based out of Kansas City, Kansas has many hardships compounding because of the delay “I do not get any other government assistance, I took the opportunity to get caught up on bills and use the child tax credit money for food and to pay my car note.” As she did not receive the payment on the 15th, she missed her car payment on the 16th and lost her mode of transportation, missed work and could potentially lose her employment. “It is constantly adding up.” She added. 

A military family based in Georgia, who chose to remain anonymous, were planning to use the funds to get ahead in family law after the pandemic had caused hardship “I’m in a custody battle for my oldest daughter. My husband and I have been providing for my daughter, since she was 8 months old.” The child’s father had applied for full custody and now her mother may lose legal representation. “With the CTC not being sent we aren’t able to pay the attorney and we have the final hearing coming up soon. Without the CTC, I have no way of paying the attorney.” Said the mother. 

The IRS issued a statement to MHA Times on Friday, September, 17th, 2021 at 5:18 pm Central:

 “This week, the IRS successfully delivered a third monthly round of approximately 35 million Child Tax Credits with a total value of about $15 billion. We are aware of instances where some individuals have not yet received their September payments, although they received payments in July and August.  These individuals may not yet be able to receive a current status on the IRS.gov Update Portal. The IRS is currently looking into this situation, and we will share more information as soon as possible.” 

-IRS Media Relations

MHA Times has not received an update as of yet, offering a solution. This story is still developing.

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