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 →


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 →


Cleaning up after customers. (Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels) Some businesses reopening after the lifting of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions have struggled to hire workers. The big debate is whether coronavirus relief, primarily Uncle Sam's added unemployment benefits, or low wages is why so many jobs are going unfilled. That argument is likely to continue, along with the Congressional battle to raise the federal minimum wage. Earlier this year, the effort to increase it from $7.25 per hour to $15 an hour failed. Some state, city minimum wages hiked: Wage increase advocates, however, have had more success at other governmental... Read more →


Your youngster might not have enjoyed the Fourth of July fireworks (I'm right there with you, kiddo, when it come to the noise!), but your son or daughter could make you eligible for Advance Child Tax Credit payments starting this month. Hello, July! Yeah, I know my welcome to the first full month of summer is a bit late. But admit it. You don't really focus on the month either until after July 4th. Since it's the midpoint of the tax year, July usually is a great time to look into some tax saving tasks (more on this a bit... Read more →


Need help filing a 2020 tax return so you can get Advance Child Tax Credit payments? The IRS and community groups in 12 metro areas are holding events to help you do just that. In a few weeks, the Internal Revenue Service will start sending out advance payments of the Child Tax Credit. The early credit amounts will go out automatically to taxpayers who, based on their 2019 or 2020 tax filing data in the IRS system, qualify for the family-friendly tax break. But not everyone who's eligible for the Child Tax Credit, which generally will be $300 a month... Read more →


Advance payments this year of some of 2021's Child Tax Credit amounts can be a nice helping hand for some families. But the early distributions aren't for everyone. Those who want to wait to claim the tax break when they file in 2022 can go online to let the IRS know they'd rather wait. (Photo by Juan Pablo Serrano Arenas via Pexels) The Internal Revenue Service is finalizing distribution of advance payments for the last half of 2021 to families that qualify for the newly enhanced Child Tax Credit. The Advance Child Tax Credit (AdvCTC) payments of $250 or $300... Read more →


Almost 40 million U.S. families could get monthly Child Tax Credit payments this year. The extra money no doubt would be a big help, but some might discover they have to pay back the advanced amounts when they file their 2021 tax returns. (Photo by August de Richelieu via Pexels) You're fully vaccinated. Your company is open again, with everyone returning to the office. You got your kiddos, who also got jabbed, into a summer day camp. Hello, sort of normal summer! Even better, you're about to get some added monthly cash from Uncle Sam thanks to early Child Tax... Read more →


Being a parent is tough when there are two adults to share the responsibilities. Child rearing sometimes is darn nigh impossible when there's just a single parent in charge. Most single-parent families are headed by mothers. But there's a substantial number of dads facing these challenges, too. U.S. Census Bureau data show that of the 35 million fathers of minor children, 1.7 million, or roughly 2 percent, are single fathers living with at least one child younger than 18. On Father's Day 2021, we salute all you nearly 2 million dads who are doing your best to take care on... Read more →


Millions are awaiting Advance Child Tax Credit payments, which will start going out in July, but only to those for whom the IRS has info in its system. If you haven't had to file a return for a while, the agency has a new online tool you can use to register for the payments. Some folks don't have to send the Internal Revenue Service a Form 1040 every year. The reason, though, is not necessarily a welcome one. They don't have to file because they don't make enough money to require telling Uncle Sam about it. And since the COVID-19... Read more →


Photo by Min An from Pexels Among the many welcome events that are returning as we continue to move beyond complete COVID-19 lockdown are weddings. Congratulations and best wishes to all the brides and grooms out there who finally are enjoying their long-planned celebrations. My gift to all y'all newlyweds is a few words of marital tax advice. With apologies for the spare gift wrapping, here are some tax tasks you need to take care of now, or at least as soon as you get back from your honeymoon. 1. Make sure everyone knows your new name. After marriage, some... Read more →


A letter from the Internal Revenue Service can be scary. But for 36 million families who soon will find such correspondence in their mail boxes, the news could be good. Very good. The document will have information on the Child Tax Credit (CTC), which was expanded under American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) provisions that became law back in March. The $2,000 tax break was hiked for the 2021 tax year to $3,600 for each child age 5 and younger and to $3,000 each for those between ages 6 and 17. Even better, the entire credit is fully refundable for 2021.... Read more →


Joe Biden's campaign slogan "Build Back Better" now is part of his presidency's agenda. Many promises he made in 2020 now are part of the Biden Administration's first federal budget proposal. President Joe Biden's first federal budget proposal, which is for the 2022 fiscal year that starts Oct. 1, comes in at $6 trillion, detailed in more than 1,700 pages. The White House projects its changes will bring $3.6 trillion to the Treasury over the next decade. It also projects a $1.84 trillion deficit. That's a substantial number, up from 2019's $984 billion deficit, but a sharp decrease from the... Read more →


The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) that became law in March gets most attention for creating a third round of COVID-19 economic impact payments. But it also made changes to some tax laws to help put more money into families' hands. One of those changes was bulking up the Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC, for tax year 2021. Quick EITC history: The EITC has been in the tax code since 1975. It was created as an outgrowth of President Lyndon B. Johnson's War on Poverty as a way to help middle- and lower-income workers. Even though the EITC can... Read more →


Since the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) was enacted on March 11, the Internal Revenue Service has distributed approximately 159 million COVID-19 economic impact payments (EIPs). Those deliveries come to more than $376 billion. This third round of coronavirus pandemic payments, worth up to $1,400 per person, has been going out in batches. Recipients include taxpayers who've filed 2020 returns, Social Security recipients, and veterans and their families. Still, there are some folks who aren't on the IRS' EIP delivery list. These are, for the most part, people who haven't file a tax return because they're not legally required to... Read more →


Happy International Women's Day (IWD), the global commemoration and celebration of women's successes. But it's also recognition that more work is needed before gender equality is achieved. Organized efforts to focus on women's accomplishments and goals have been conducted globally since 1911, with the official March 8 date set in 1914. This year, the IWD theme chosen by the United Nations is, not surprisingly, Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world. The official IWD website is highlighting the #ChooseToChallenge on social media. #HappyInternationalWomensDay We can choose to challenge & call out gender bias & inequality. We... Read more →


A VITA volunteer helps a taxpayer prepare and e-filer her tax return for free. (IRS video screenshot) Tax software works fine for millions of taxpayers. Another sizeable chunk of filers opt for more personal service from a tax professional. Then there are people for whom software just doesn't cut it. They need or want more help and assurance that their taxes will be filed correctly. But they can't afford a tax preparer. Say hello to Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE). Trained volunteer tax filing help: VITA programs across the United States offer free... Read more →