Deadline near to file for enhanced child credit

A key deadline is just days away for families eligible for cash to help raise their children. Congress passed an enhanced child tax credit in the American Rescue Plan, but you must file your taxes on time by next Monday if you want to get the money in July.

A visit to the White Center Food Bank shows how the fallout from the pandemic is far from over.

We met Vianey Romero picking up groceries for this week’s meals.

She was here with her husband and 5-month-old, Montserrat.

“It’s very good for us, so I’m really thankful for it,” she said.

Now they can get help from the expanded child care tax credit in the American Rescue Plan passed by Congress.

“This can help lift over 4 million children out of poverty across our country, over 65,000 children right here in Washington state,” said U.S. Representative Suzan DelBene. She led the push to get the enhanced help for working families into the pandemic relief plan.

Children under 6 will qualify for as much a $300 a month.

Kids aged 6-17 are eligible for up to $250 per month.

“This help for me is important. I think it can help to me and my family very much. Because the baby stuff is so expensive,” said Romero

The expensive baby stuff includes diapers — the White Center Food Bank hands out thousands supplied by local nonprofit West Side Baby.

“We know that families experiencing diaper need have had to miss school or work because they don’t have the required supply of diapers to send their child to daycare,” said Executive Director Sarah Cody Roth

The tax credit will help because public assistance like food stamps can’t be used to buy diapers.

The child tax credit is for middle-class families, too.

It doesn’t begin phasing out until $75,000 for single earners and $150,000 for joint filers.

“I had a family who struggled financially when I was growing up. I know how important this will be for families and the huge difference that makes,” said DelBene.

The enhanced child tax credit expires in a year, but Rep. DelBene and others are working to make it permanent.