Starting this summer families will get monthly payments from the federal government.
It’s part of the extended child tax credit program.
The money is normally provided in tax returns.
But now, the goal is to get families more money faster.
The child tax credit increased from a total of $2,000 per child to $3,600 for children under six and $3,000 for children ages six to 17.
This applies to married couples who make $150,000 or less, singles who make $75,000 or less and heads of households who make 112,500 or less.
Instead of waiting until tax season, now families can choose monthly payments to help pay for whatever their kids need sooner.
The monthly payments will benefit Deeanderia Martin, of North Fort Myers, who has five children, ages 12, 9,8,6 and 1.
“It helps us at the beginning of the year save for things during the summer or pay off any Christmas debt that we had so it’s always nice to get that big lump sum and knowing that we can look forward to that every year,” Martin said.
But now Martin can look forward to the money every month.
Starting July 15, middle class and low-income families can get up to $300 for children under six and up to $250 for children ages six to 17.
“The monthly payments are going to work better for us because that means we will be able to do more things now during the summer since the kids will be out,” Martin said. “We are right on the borderline of being able to get money back with the tax credit. We were able to last year because of COVID. My husband didn’t work for a year so I’m only worried that we might have to pay money back.”
Chuck Massie, a certified public accountant, said not everyone should take advantage of this monthly option.
“If they think there is a possibility of owing, they probably shouldn’t take the money,” Massie said. “Otherwise getting $250 a month could be easily spent on groceries or whatever and then they get to the end and tax season and they are going to end up having to pay.”
Massie said the people who need this program the most, the ones in food bank lines, usually don’t owe money and will benefit fit the most from extra money each month.
“That’s the obvious goal is make sure the children are fed basically,” Massie said. “We know if you’re in Lee County that we have a lot of children that aren’t fed when there’s no school and things like that.”