CALIFORNIA, USA —
Amy Everitt, president of Golden State Opportunity, says her non-profit works closely with low-income families across the state.
During listening sessions, Everitt said families constantly told her about the continued need for the Child Tax Credit, which gives $3,600 total for each child under six years old and $3,000 for kids ages six to 17.
“Parents share with us what they are going to do with this credit. They are going to buy groceries, they are going to buy school supplies, they are going to pay bills (and) in some cases, child care,” Everitt said.
According to the California Policy Lab, 650,000 children in California are missing out on the recently expanded Child Tax Credit. Aparna Ramesh, author of the study, found that families who were less likely to file taxes before the pandemic are the most likely to miss out on that credit.
“We find that, among families that are enrolled in food stamps, CalFresh and CalWorks and other savings safety net programs, about half of the children in these families are actually identified as Hispanic. These children, about a third of children, actually reside in households that speak a primary language other than English,” Ramesh said.
American Indian and Native American families are also at a very high risk of not receiving the credit, as well as children who live in northern or more rural counties. Ramesh says the state should use hotlines and remote tax preparation services to help bridge the disconnect.
“The IRS actually has a solution. And so, the IRS this summer established a simplified return, so it takes less than 30 minutes to fill out and it’s a lot less than filing a full federal return,” Ramesh said.
More information on the Child Tax Credit and how to sign up for it can be found HERE.
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