Judge Lina Hidalgo announces new child tax credit program to help reduce child poverty in Harris County

New partnership with BakerRipley to help families receive federal child tax credit payments

New partnership with BakerRipley to help families receive federal child tax credit payments

HOUSTON – Judge Lina Hidalgo, in partnership with BakerRipley, unveiled a new program that will help more families living below the poverty level in Harris County to receive the federal child care tax credit.

Hidalgo said the goal is to help increase access to the child tax credit, especially for families who would not qualify without the 2021-22 expansion while helping families access other vital resources.

In Harris County, 21.7%, or one in five children live in poverty, and 9.4% live in “deep poverty,” or with a family income below half of the poverty line, Hidalgo said. According to the Tax Policy Center, this temporary expansion of the child tax credit (CTC), along with other recovery efforts, can lead to a significant decline in child poverty this year.

However, based on IRS estimates, the county says at least 30,000 children in Harris County are at risk of missing out on CTC payments (totaling $90 million) because they live in non-tax-filing households. Hidalgo said since advance monthly payments are scheduled to cease in January 2022, there isn’t a lot of time to act and help families claim benefits now.

Hidalgo said the budget for the program will propose funding for:

● Geographically expanding reach of volunteer tax assistance and CTC awareness efforts to help more low-income families claim the credit

● Providing individualized assistance with claiming advance monthly payments (for the remainder of 2021)

● Providing ramped up tax outreach and assistance for filing 2021 taxes (from January through April 2022) to help families claim half or full CTC, any emergency impact payments, and potentially EITC.

Hidalgo has asked families to file their taxes by Nov. 15 to receive the child tax credit.

BakerRipley said they can potentially reach about 5,000 children with the outreach program from the additional funding.

“Please act now. Lean on BakerRipley and their assistance on how to file taxes,” Hidalgo said.

The program will run until April 2022, which is the end of tax season. For more information, call 713-273-3744 or click here to visit the BakerRipley website.

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