For Frankie Perez, an Air Force veteran and foster parent to five of his nieces and nephews, the recently expanded federal child tax credit allowed him to not only keep his home afloat during the pandemic but also to “better the quality of life” of the children by helping pay for school uniforms, sports and family outings.
Perez, who is a stay-at-home dad, took in the children nearly two years ago as he was attempting to finish his bachelor’s degree and the COVID-19 pandemic took hold. The children’s co-parent had to stop working because she is immunocompromised.
“Without the child tax credit, she would have been forced to go to work and she could have gotten sick and that could have had a ripple effect for our whole family,” Perez said. “So the child tax credit has literally helped to save our family — keeping us safe, keeping us together.”
In March 2021, the American Rescue Plan temporarily increased the annual child tax credit from $2,000 per child to $3,000 per child for children 6 to 17 and from $2,000 to $3,600 for children under the age of 6, and made the payments monthly rather than a lump sum when filing federal taxes. From July 15 to Dec. 15, families would receive monthly checks for $250 to $300 per child.
But Nevada officials fear that families similar to Perez’s may be missing out. According to Pat Smith, program director for free income tax preparation nonprofit Nevada Free Taxes Coalition, there are around 17,000 children in Nevada not included in tax returns, leaving up to $52 million of the child tax credit unclaimed. White House statistics showed that, in the month of July alone, $143 million would be used to help 560,000 children in Nevada.
Read the entire article here: https://thenevadaindependent.com/article/advocates-fear-thousands-are-unaware-of-child-tax-credit-eligibility
The portion of the article is shared as part of our collaboration with The Nevada Independent. This story was originally published on November 30, 2021, and written by Jannelle Calderon.