Benefit Recipients Should Know About These Coronavirus Stimulus Check Tax Credits

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Fresh federal stimulus checks are highly unlikely, but a couple of credits could be available for you this tax season. These coronavirus stimulus check tax credits, if not already claimed, could prove extremely crucial, especially with the coronavirus pandemic still not over. The two credits are the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), and these credits are available even to those who get Social Security Supplemental Income (SSI), or don’t usually file a tax return.

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Coronavirus Stimulus Check Tax Credits For Benefit Recipients

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 expanded the child tax credit to $3,600 per eligible child below six years of age and $3,000 per child ages six to 17. Moreover, half of this credit was sent to the eligible families in equal monthly installments from July through December 2021. The other half of the credit is available at the time of filing the tax return.

In case you didn’t get the monthly credit last year, then you can claim the full child tax credit amount this year even if you get Social Security Supplemental Income.

A point to note is that the amount of your child tax credit won’t impact your Social Security benefits. This means if you get SSI, any child tax credit you get won’t count as income for the twelve months after you get it to determine your eligibility for SSI.

The idea behind this is that the SSA authorities want to know that you are in need of the money. Thus, saving the credit money in your bank account beyond twelve months may disqualify you from social benefits.

Is The EITC Another Benefit You Can Claim?

The second credit that you should be aware of this tax season is the EITC (Earned Income Tax Credit). The EITC offers certain tax breaks to low-to-moderate-income workers and families. Those eligible for this credit can use it to lower their taxes and this in turn, can increase their tax refund.

Similar to the CTC, those who get Social Security or SSI can get the EITC, and Social Security benefits and SSI won’t impact their eligibility for the EITC. Also, you will have to file your 2021 tax return to claim the EITC.

However, if you claim the EITC, your tax refund could get delayed. According to the IRS, it can’t issue EITC and ACTC refunds prior to mid-February by law.

“The IRS expects most EITC/Additional CTC related refunds to be available in taxpayer bank accounts or on debit cards by March 1, if they chose direct deposit and there are no other issues with their tax return,” the agency says.

For the tax year 2021, the amount of EITC ranges from $1,502 to $6,728 depending on the income, number of dependents and tax-filing status. You can use your 2019 income (and not 2021 income) to claim your EITC, but only if your 2019 income is more than your 2021 income.