‘It made things easier’: Local families now missing monthly advanced child tax payments

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho. – For the first time in six months, 35 million Americans are going without a monthly deposit of the advanced child tax credit. 

One Coeur d’Alene mom is already feeling the effects of not having that monthly payment. 

“Every little expense just adds up and that just kind of provided an ease, a little relief,” Joann Latimer said. 

Many parents receiving child tax credits received an increase from previous years. The child tax credit went from the normal $2,000 to $3,00 per child for kids over the age of six. It went up from $2,000 to $3,600 for kids under that age. The age limit was also increased from 16 to 17. Also, it depends on the income of families on how much they can get, if at all.

Families received half of their child tax credits paid upfront because of the American Rescue Plan. That ended in December and now families are left without hundreds of dollars they relied on in the last half year.

Latimer says she can live without the monthly payments, but getting them did help.

“It made things easier, like when it was my daughter’s birthday. I didn’t feel the stress of ‘How am I going to make her birthday work?’ or you know, when it was Christmas, I knew I had that little extra cushion,” Latimer said. 

Now that that cushion is gone, Latimer says it will be harder. 

Parents will get the other half in a lump sum when they get their 2021 tax returns, which could make filing taxes a bit tricky. 

If you did get your child tax credits upfront, monthly this last year, you will only get half of what you normally do when you file your taxes. 

For example, Latimer received $500 for six months. She already received $3,000 last year. Coming up when she files her taxes, she will get $3,000, but that could change. 

Mike Whitmore, a certified public accountant, says it all depends on income. Some families could get some money back while others may have to pay when they file for their returns. 

“As you work through that, you put in the amount of child tax credit you’ve received, and then if your income was over a certain threshold, then there will be a payback component of it or you can get more depending on where your income is at,” Whitmore said. 

While some families could be surprised come tax season, Latimer knows what she signed up for. She says she is glad she received those monthly payments, but is now worried for what is next. 

“It’s just, everything gets way more down to the wire,” she said. 

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READ: 3 changes for the 2022 tax season