Family Feed

Last March, parents were frantically searching for day camps to enroll their kiddos once school let out for the summer. Then COVID-19 arrived. Most camps shut down or dramatically pared back operations and parents added teacher and summer activity director to their already long list of de facto titles. We're still not sure whether or how many summer day camps will resume this year, but things are looking better thanks to expanding coronavirus vaccinations across the country. That means that parents might be able to once again take advantage of the child and dependent care credit in connection with certain... Read more →


The Child Tax Credit (CTC) was expanded as part of the COVID-19 relief bill signed into law by President Joe Biden. Instead of $2,000 per child, the CTC in for the 2021 tax year is $3,600 per child age 5 or younger. It's $3,000 for children ages 6 to 17. Part of the 2021 credit money is going out through the end of the year as advance payments. The October payments went out last Friday. Two more rounds, on the 15th of November and December, will be issued. Few of us will turn down money, so the credit increase and... Read more →


Millions of Americans rely on their workplace benefits to cover then health care and other needs. Most of them also are paying even more attention to those job-based benefits this year in light of the persistent COVID-19 pandemic. Medical insurance is a top priority. But other benefits also are getting added attention during this annual fall period, during which many U.S. companies allow workers to enroll in or change their benefits for the coming coverage year. Many of the office-based benefits also offer some tax advantages. Here are five questions with an Internal Revenue Service-inspired perspective to ask yourself as... Read more →


Young boy feeding the chickens. (Photo by ArtHouse Studio from Pexels) As we wind down the first weekend in October, Democrats are continuing to fight amongst themselves and with Republicans over how big President Joe Biden's economic plan should be and how to pay for however much it ultimately is. But one group of taxpayers is happy about what isn't in the mix. Potential changes to the tax treatment of inherited property are off the table, at least for now. There had been talk that the stepped-up basis rule would be eliminated. This tax rule allows heirs to set the... Read more →


Photo via Pexels There have been some stumbles with the delivery of Advance Child Tax Credit (AdvCTC) payments this summer, the most recent happening last month when some were delayed. That's understandable. The AdvCTC distribution is yet another new job for the Internal Revenue Service, which already is struggling to handle its regular jobs during a persistent pandemic. Still, it's frustrating for folks depending on the money, which has been increased for the 2021 tax year to $3,600 for each child younger than age 6, and $3,000 for each youngster ages 6 to 17. Many missing the money: Half of... Read more →


In addition to visiting your local pumpkin patch this month, make time for these October tax moves. (Photo by James Wheeler via Pexels) It's October. I know I say this every month, but wow, this day got here quickly. And it's just the start of a busy month. This first full month of fall means it's time to winterize your house if you live in a place with changing seasons. You've got candy to buy so trick-or-treaters won't be disappointed. But take it from me, don't buy the sweets too soon or you'll have to buy more by the time... Read more →


But despite the technical problem, IRS says still use online tool to make changes, including stopping Advance Child Tax Credit payments for the rest of the year. You'd think that by the time the Internal Revenue Service issued the third Advance Child Tax Credit (AdvCTC) payment, things would be automatic. Well, you've got another think coming. The IRS did deliver in mid-September around 35 million AdvCTC payments totaling $15 billion. But unfortunately for some eligible families, their money didn't show up on time. The explanation was the usual one. It was a technical issue. Yeah, I rolled my eyes, too.... Read more →


Advance Child Tax Credit (AdvCTC) payments are producing a financial benefit to more than the families receiving the money. The early tax credit amounts, which started going out in July and will continue through December, also appear to keep more workers on the job. That's a finding from a report by Humanity Forward, which partnered with researchers at the Washington University of St. Louis, Appalachian State, University of North Carolina-Greensboro, and the Urban Institute to examine the potential effects of the tax break. In addition, the tax credit also is encouraging some to follow through on entrepreneurial plans. Popular tax... Read more →


Are you missing out on monthly Advance Child Tax Credit (AdvCTC) payments? Sign up today to get in the system and start getting checks starting next month. The Internal Revenue Service will keep sending out the amounts to eligible taxpayers for the next four months. The payments are up to $300 per month for each qualifying child younger than age 6 and up to $250 per month for each child age 6 through 17. They are either directly deposited if you have a financial account or a paper U.S. Treasury check is mailed around the 15th of each month. And... Read more →


Even before the COVID-19 pandemic created a plethora of economic problems, student debt was a national concern. Student loans are among the largest contributors to household debt, according to a recent U.S. Census Bureau analysis. It cites Department of Education estimates that in 2017 the total amount owed in federal student loans was $1.37 trillion. That figure no doubt has grown dramatically in the last four years, exacerbated by the recent job losses caused by the coronavirus. Federal student debt relief moves: As the higher education debt dollars pile up, Washington, D.C., is working on ways to deal the costs... Read more →


The Child Tax Credit, particularly the advance payments now being distributed by the Internal Revenue Service in monthly installments through the rest of 2021, are getting a lot of attention. But that's not the only tax credit that offers help to families. These tax breaks are particularly helpful because, as tax credits, they offset dollar-for-dollar any tax liability you might have. A few are even refundable, meaning they'll net you a tax refund once they wipe out any tax you might owe. Such help from Uncle Sam is welcomed by all taxpayers, but especially families working to make ends meet.... Read more →


The parents of these youngsters are as happy as their offspring, thanks to the Advance Child Tax Credit payments. But some moms and dads still have questions about the money. With the delivery of the second Advance Child Tax Credit (AdvCTC) payments last week, the Internal Revenue Service now has sent out roughly $30 billion to around 36 million families. That dollar amount will continue to grow as half of the tax credit, which was bumped up for the 2021 tax year, is mailed or directly deposited at the middle of the coming months. But this weekend, as we mark... Read more →


Photo by Juan Pablo Serrano Arenas from Pexels On Friday, the second of this year's Advance Child Tax Credit payments were directly deposited to accounts of families who signed up to get the tax relief measure that way. Those awaiting an actual paper Treasury Department check should see them arrive in their snail mail boxes in a few days. In most cases, the money, which is a prepayment of the Child Tax Credit (CTC) is welcome. But in some instances, the early money could cause payback problems for families whose tax situations changed this year. Child Tax Credit benefits and... Read more →


Photo by FRANK MERIÑO from Pexels With the Delta variant fueling a resurgence of COVID-19 cases, focus has fallen on folks who are choosing not to get jabbed. Vaccine resistors offer many reasons for not getting the shot (J&J) or shots (Pfizer and Moderna). One of them is that they can't afford to take time off work. Uncle Sam is encouraging employers to cut their job-focused unvaccinated workers some slack. Eligible businesses who let their employees have paid time off to get the vaccine will get a tax break. And he just expanded the situations to which the business tax... Read more →


Ah, August. In normal times (remember those?), we'd be complaining about the late-summer heat, parents would be counting down days until school started, and tax geeks would be looking at things they should do this month. Well, things are decidedly not normal. It's been abnormally hot in much of the country already. Some schools are reopening, but with more COVID-19 precautions than they had planned since the virus has re-emerged with a vengeance due to the Delta variant. Those August tax moves, though, they're still around, of course with some coronavirus twists. And today, Aug. 2, the first Monday of... Read more →


You got your first Advance Child Tax Credit (AdvCTC) this month. The added $300 for each of your kiddos age 5 or younger or $250 per child if your youngsters are age 6 through 17 is nice. But your 2021 financial situation has changed, and you've done the math. The calculations show that this COVID-19 relief money, authorized by the American Rescue Plan Act and which the Internal Revenue Service is sending based on your 2020 tax year filing data, no longer applies. In fact, since you're making a bit more money this year, if you keep getting the AdvCTC... Read more →


Everybody needs some help now and then. On Friday, July 23, and Saturday, July 24, the Internal Revenue Service is providing assistance to those in 16 metropolitan areas who need to file a 2020 tax return so they can get various COVID-19 relief payments. The first of six scheduled Advance Child Tax Credit (AdvCTC) payments hit bank accounts and U.S. Postal Service boxes last week. The bulk of these initial payments — the Internal Revenue Service says it sent out $15 billion to about 35 million families — were dispersed automatically. The recipients, who had previously filed returns or used... Read more →


Millions of parents are as happy as these youngsters, thanks to the first Advance Child Tax Credit payment that arrived this month. Others, however, are wondering why they got less. The first of six scheduled Advance Child Tax Credit payments have arrived, and for the most part, the recipients are elated. Paul Williams, an economist and writer, has collected many of the happy recorded (or recreated) reactions in an entertaining Twitter thread. Some folks, however, aren't so thrilled. In fact, they're wondering why they didn't get the full $300 per month for each dependent child younger than age 6 and... Read more →


Don't fall for scammers who falsely say they can help you get, or get more, of the enhanced Child Tax Credit amounts that started going out this week. Instead, get help from a tax pro or use the Internal Revenue Service's online tools. The Advance Child Tax Credit (AdvCTC) payments started showing up in bank accounts today. Folks who'll get the enhanced early credit amounts by snail mail should see those U.S. Treasury checks soon. The Internal Revenue Service says it delivered today the first batch of the early Child Tax Credit payments, worth roughly $15 billion, to around 35... Read more →


These youngsters' parents will join them in jumping for joy if the expanded Child Tax Credit, which was expanded for the 2021 tax years, is extended or, as some in Congress want, made permanent. On the eve of the expanded Child Tax Credit going out to millions of families, a group of Democratic members of Congress want the enhanced tax break to become a permanent part of the Internal Revenue Code. Under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), the COVID relief measure that became law in March, the Child Tax Credit (CTC) was increased, for qualifying families, to $3,000 for... Read more →


July has become a big month for the Internal Revenue Service. Last year, in the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic, July 15 was the delayed regular tax return filing deadline. This year, July 15 is the kickoff date for Advance Child Tax Credit payments and resumption of some IRS collection and enforcement efforts. This summer month also a welcome time for folks who early in 2021 filed tax returns reporting all their 2020 unemployment benefits. The IRS announced today that around 4 million of those taxpayers are about to get refunds for their tax overpayments. Where the IRS has taxpayers'... Read more →