© 2024 Western New York Public Broadcasting Association

140 Lower Terrace
Buffalo, NY 14202

Mailing Address:
Horizons Plaza P.O. Box 1263
Buffalo, NY 14240-1263

Buffalo Toronto Public Media | Phone 716-845-7000
WBFO Newsroom | Phone: 716-845-7040
Your NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Almost 400,000 children estimated to benefit from updated tax credit

Brian Higgins, wearing a suit and glasses, stands at a podium with four people standing behind him. They are standing in a classroom meant for young children.
Theresa Kennedy / Office of Congressman Brian Higgins
Congressman Brian Higgins is pictured with local leaders to discuss the updated child tax credit.

An expansion of the American Rescue Plan's child tax credit will bring annual payments up to $3,000 for each child between the ages of six and seventeen and $3,600 for children under six.

The unique part of this tax expansion will also allow families to get half the money as monthly payments now and half at tax time, rather than waiting to get all of it when filing taxes.

It is estimated that 91 percent of children in New York's 26th congressional district qualify for the tax credit, which is available to joint filers who make $150,000 or less, head of household filers who make less than $112,500 or individuals who make up to $75,000. If you make more than that, you might be eligible for a portion of the tax credit on a sliding scale. In total, it is estimated nearly 400,000 children within Western New York's three congressional districts will qualify and get tax credits.

About 80 percent of families overall will get the payments through the direct deposit with the IRS. Leaders of local family organizations say that this money will help lift many families out of poverty and allow people to focus on things beyond just the basic necessities.

"Through this improved program the burden of providing the necessities of life will be reduced for those who need it most. Instead, those who benefit from this provision will be able to focus on following their dreams like entrepreneurship and building generational wealth, which will strengthen the economy in this region for everyone," Shatorah Donovan, Chair of the Beverly Gray Business Exchange Center, said.

Most eligible families won't have to do anything to receive the payments starting on July 15th, and continuing on the 15th of every month through December. Those who did not file 2019 or 2020 taxes or are not required to file can use the IRS’ online tool to apply for the payments. You can find that tool by clicking here or going to https://www.irs.gov/credits-deductions/child-tax-credit-non-filer-sign-up-tool.

Emyle Watkins is an investigative journalist covering disability for WBFO.