BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The first round of Child Tax Credit payments are set to start going out Thursday.
More than 35 million Americans will receive the direct deposit payments over the next several months as part of President Biden's American Rescue Plan, which was approved in March.
How will families benefit?
Families will receive a $300 credit per child under the age of six, and $250 per child age six to 17.
Households that filed federal income tax returns for both 2019 and 2020 will receive the monthly payments automatically.
But even if you didn't or if your tax filing status changed in the last year, you may still qualify.
To find out if you qualify, you will need to go to the IRS' website and provide basic information, such as your name, address and your children's ages.
Two key qualifiers for the tax credits: your child must live at home with you for at least six months of the year and that child must have a social security number.
It is important to note that if you opt to get the monthly tax credits, it will reduce the amount you receive on your future tax returns.
But the new child tax credit payments will impact, and potentially help, more than just families that need help making ends meet.
How will businesses benefit?
Businesses will also get tax credits to help their employees' families.
Those credits will be distributed to businesses up to a certain threshold for each employee for which they provide child care.
Experts tell 7 Eyewitness News this can set up a win-win scenario for both families and businesses: businesses will get tax breaks and can provide incentives for recruiting and retaining workers; experts say parents will be able to more easily find the child care they need while they work.
"At a time when it's really hard to recruit employees as it is, it's really important that we take away all the barriers that we can," said executive director of the Chautauqua Lake Child Care Center Beth Starks. "When we have $2.2 billion just for childcare just for New York State, it's really important that we're using that money to support people going to work and children getting the highest quality of education they can."
The average New York family spends $15,000 a year on child care.