RI parents urged to take advantage of $3,000-per-child tax credit


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — While parents normally get some money back at tax time, the expanded federal child tax credit included in the American Rescue Plan Act could help Rhode Islanders all year.

The United Way and members of the state’s congressional delegation gathered Monday to stress the importance of taking advantage of the expanded tax credit and to outline some of the changes that are taking effect.

“We made the full child tax credit available to children and families with low to no income, we expanded to include 17-year-old children, and the maximum amounts of credit have been raised to $3,000 per child,” Democratic Congressman David Cicilline explained.

Parents and families can take advantage of the benefits when filing their taxes by the May 17 deadline.

Another big change is that payments are made monthly, instead of annually.

“We raised it from $2,000 to $3,000 per child unless your child is 0 to 5, in which case it’s $3,600 — so a family with two children under five gets $7,200 and those checks will be parceled out monthly,” Democratic U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse said. “We all know what a big difference that can make, when all of a sudden an extra $600 a month is coming into that family.”

Monthly payments are expected to start in July, officials said, also noting that the tax credit is now refundable.

Whitehouse says an estimated 173,000 Rhode Island children will benefit directly from these changes. The expansion is temporary and only for 2021, though Rhode Island’s four federal lawmakers are among those who want to make it permanent.

Officials said to call 2-1-1 if you want to find out if you’re eligible for this credit or need help filing your taxes.

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