Local families begin receiving child tax credit payments

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Riley is celebrating her 6th birthday, with family, at the Fresno Chaffee Zoo.

While she and her siblings are excited to see the exhibits, her parents are thankful this trip was possible.

Mom Brittany Kingston says, "We're a large family so we don't get to do much, so now we get to and she gets to go to the zoo."

The family of six makes up one of 35 million families that received their first Child Tax Credit payments.

Kingston says, "It was actually a relief for us. We do have bills to catch up on because of the pandemic."

Eligible families will get up to $250 each month for every child 6-17 years old, and $300 per month for every child under six.

In an effort to cut child poverty in half, The Biden Administration is seeking to make the payments permanent.

Congressman Jim Costa says it's a move that benefits 215,000 children in his district alone.

"95.5% of the children and over 58,000 households in my district will gain expanded and improved child tax credit in my district," he said.

But Republicans say the payments will make parents less likely to work.

Some parents opted to postpone advanced payments to just get the entire credit when they file their taxes next spring.

First 5 Fresno County Executive Director Fabiola Gonzalez says this tax credit is crucial, now more than ever after families faced countless pandemic setbacks.

"Because we know and we've seen over the last 16 months the struggles that families, especially families with young kids, have gone through to try to make ends meet," said Gonzalez.

She adds, "It's seen as you know, our government prioritizing those first five years of life. I mean, childhood, in general, this tax credit goes from zero to 17. It's going to support the architects of our next generation. These are the children and we'll take our country to its next phase."

How you receive the payments depend on how you filed your taxes.

If for some reason you weren't able to, you can apply for these benefits on the IRS website.

If you haven't received your payment, but should have, contact your local congressman's office. They'll be able to track down the payment for you.

Child tax credit calculator

Use the calculator below to find out how much you may get as part of the new child tax credit. Your information will not be stored in any way.

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