The Oklahoman

Site launched to help people receive child tax credit

US works with Code for America to create simple, accessible form

- Josh Boak

WASHINGTON – The government has collaborat­ed on a new internet site to help more Americans apply for and receive the expanded child tax credit, a monthly payment of as much as $300 per child that was part of the coronaviru­s relief package. was developed by nonpartisa­n charitable organizati­on Code for America in partnershi­p with the White House and Treasury Department, according to a statement Wednesday. The goal is to provide a straightfo­rward, online form that can be accessible via mobile phones for people who are not legally obligated to file taxes to apply for the tax credit because they don’t earn enough money.

“Our research really shows the simpler you make the process, the more likely people are going to actually successful­ly make it through,” David Newville, senior program director for tax benefits at Code for America, said in an interview.

Based on a demonstrat­ion provided to The Associated Press, it’s possible for a parent to complete the form over the course of just 20 or 25 slides. The online form is also available in English and Spanish.

Code for America has in the past worked with more than 100 partner organizati­ons to help people prepare tax returns, and the intention is to get more people signed up for the child tax credit. The government previously estimated that at least 88% of children were already able to receive the tax credit when payments began in July.

President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion in COVID-19 aid included an expansion of the child tax credit, extending it to families without any tax obligation­s. Parents of a child under the age of 6 can receive $3,600 annually, some of which can be paid out monthly at $300. Each child from the age of 6 to 17 qualifies for $3,000 annually, or $250 per month.

The expanded child tax credit is set to lapse after a year, though Biden has proposed extending it through 2025 and would like it to be made permanent. The credit appears to be making a meaningful difference as a census survey indicated that food instabilit­y for families with children fell 24% after the first payments were issued.

The Biden administra­tion has also emphasized the importance of ensuring that as many people as possible receive the credit.

There’s “no question (when) you’re doing something this major this quickly there’s going to be wrinkles and bumps in the road, and we’re just as committed as we can be to smoothing them out as quickly as we can,” Gene Sperling, who is leading the oversight efforts of the relief payments for the Biden administra­tion, said on a Wednesday call.

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