As the Build Back Better bill and the new government aid it promised stalls on Capitol Hill, millions of Americans who may have been expecting more help amid the pandemic are being left empty handed.
But there is good news: Families can still count on additional aid at tax time, due to more generous tax credits via the American Rescue Plan Act.
Many are eager for the extra help. A petition for stimulus checks of $2,000 per month for adults has attracted almost 3 million signatures. Separately, advocacy group The Senior Citizens League has called for $1,400 stimulus checks to help older Americans stave off the negative effects of inflation and other effects of the pandemic.
In a March letter to President Joe Biden, some Democratic Senate leaders supported recurring stimulus checks.
However, there is no indication that fourth stimulus checks could be coming.
Still, many America have money coming to them if they still have not received all that was due them from the three stimulus checks, or if they are eligible for the enhanced child tax credit or earned income tax credit.
“It could be quite a bit of money for people who may be struggling in a rough economy,” said Amy Hanauer, executive director at the Institute on Taxation & Economic Policy, a nonpartisan think tank.
Many families have received monthly payments if they qualify for the higher child tax credit that was put in place for this year.
Those monthly checks only count toward half of the sums due to families, with the rest set to be credited at tax time.
For example, a family with a child under age 5 may receive a total of $3,600 — with $1,800 in advance payments and another $1,800 due when they file their 2021 tax returns, Hanauer noted.
For children ages 6 and over, families stand to receive $3,000 — with $1,500 in advance payments plus $1,500 at tax time.