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United Way volunteers helping families obtain the Child Tax Credit

Beginning in July the IRS will send an advance on the 2021 Child Tax Credit to families across the country that could have a big impact on their ability to pay for summer camps, childcare, and other family essentials. To qualify for the advance payment families will need to have filed their 2020 tax return, in addition to meeting the other requirements for the credit.

The United Way of Northern Chautauqua County is opening its VITA site, located at 626 Central Ave., for two days to help families’ complete returns that may not have done them during the traditional tax filing season. Appointments are available for Friday, June 25, and Friday July 9 to assist families in obtaining the advance payments. Appointments can be obtained by calling 716-366-5424.

To qualify for the child tax credit, the tax filer and each child must have a social security number or ITIN, the child must be a relative of the filer, must not have provided more than half of their own support, lived with the filer for more than half of the year, must NOT turn 18 before the end of 2021, and must be claimed as an allowable dependent on the taxpayer’s return. The amount of the credit will vary by age and income level.

Taxpayers making less than $75,000, or jointly filed returns earning less than $150,000 will qualify for the full amount. The full credit is $3,000 for each child aged 6-17, and $3,600 for each child under age 6. The advance will be paid in monthly increments of $250-$300 per child starting in July.

Taxpayers need to know that this is an advance on a tax credit which will be claimed on your 2021 tax filing. Families that see an increase in income from 2020 to 2021 that would make them ineligible would be asked to repay at least a portion of the credit. Families that typically received the child tax credit at tax filing time will not receive that as part of the 2021 refund if they receive the advanced payment.

Visit IRS.gov for more information. Taxpayers may also monitor IRS.gov for a portal that will allow them to opt out of the advance payments or make changes, which is expected to launch soon.

The VITA program is operated under the United Way of Northern Chautauqua County in this area, through a network of IRS Certified volunteers. The program provides free tax preparation during the typical filing season. For the 2020 tax year VITA volunteers in the area recovered more than $1,600,000 in state and federal tax refunds for local taxpayers. Please visit unitedwayncc.org or call the United Way office for more information or to inquire about volunteering.

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