NEW YORK – Citizens in Puerto Rico, a territory of the United States for more than a century, will not only receive the third stimulus check of $ 1,400 as part of the provisions of the Biden Administration’s “American Rescue Plan”, many will be able to apply for the benefits of the Earned Income Credit (EITC) and the expansion of the Child Tax Credit (CTC).
The new stimulus package that the president Joe Biden signed last week provides for the first time the EITC applies to the residents of the Caribbean island.
Additionally, the law expands CTC eligibility for US citizens in Puerto Rico.
Before the approval of the economic rescue plan for coronavirus, only families with three or more children could claim that tax credit, now any family can apply.
Scope of the EITC and CTC for Puerto Rico
The first of the credits grants up to $ 6,660 to a family with three or more children, and up to $ 538 in the case of taxpayers without a qualifying child, according to the IRS.
Last year, more than 25 million taxpayers received more than $ 62 billion in EITC in the US; while the average amount for the loan was $ 2,461.
Regarding the credit for children, the “Economic Rescue Plan” expanded the benefit.
Under the new provisions, the Government grants up to a maximum of $ 3,600 per qualifying child.
Under the temporary program, the Government through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) You must distribute checks for $ 300 per month for each child under 6 years of age, as well as checks for $ 250 for each child between 6 and 17 years old.
More funds for food
Another part of the legislation that will apply to residents of Puerto Rico is the additional funds for food assistance ($ 1,000 million) through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
Puerto Ricans do not receive food assistance on an equal footing with US citizens. Instead, the local government receives block grants with limitations imposed by federal authorities.
Chuck Schumer celebrates benefits for Puerto Rico
Senate Majority Speaker Chuck Schumer He said this Wednesday in the plenary chamber that the plan of the Government of Puerto Rico seeks to grant greater parity in terms of federal funds, as a means to tackle poverty on the island.
“The American Rescue Plan ensures that Puerto Rico, which suffers from devastating levels of poverty -43% – especially child poverty, it is unacceptable that 57% of all children in Puerto Rico live in poverty. So we want to make sure that Puerto Rico receives its fair share in federal food assistance, ”said Schumer.
“The American Rescue Plan is going to be the greatest anti-poverty effort in a generation. And we want to make sure that Puerto Rico is part of this, ”said the highest-ranking Democrat in the Senate.
Extra weekly unemployment help
In addition to the above, Puerto Ricans can also apply for the extra weekly unemployment assistance of $ 300 until September.
Traditionally and due to its colonial status, Puerto Rico later receives federal funds such as those corresponding to stimulus packages since the authorities on the island must present an action plan that requires the approval of the United States Government before proceeding with the distribution of funds.
Department of the Treasury presents to the federal Government a plan for the distribution of the third stimulus check
Almost a week ago, the Secretary of the Department of the Treasury (DH), Francisco Parés Alicea, submitted to the IRS and the Federal Department of the Treasury, the plan for the distribution of the new check for $ 1,400.
The disbursement of these funds on the island could reach $ 3.5 billion with the distribution of the money to approximately 2.6 million people, according to the press release from the Treasury.
“With the rescue plan converted into law and at the urging of Governor Pedro R. Pierluisi, for the aid to arrive, we submitted to the IRS and the Federal Treasury the first draft of our distribution plan for the economic impact payment of $ 1,400. The process before final approval should take approximately four weeks and we will use that time internally to prepare and initiate disbursements as soon as we receive the go-ahead ”, specified Parés Alicea.
Individuals residing in Puerto Rico, with valid Social Security, who have not been claimed as dependents and have not died before January 1, 2021 are eligible for the aid.
“This aid program is more comprehensive than the first ones we work with, because it will benefit all members of the family, regardless of age. For example, a married couple with two children could receive a stimulus of $ 5,600 or $ 1,400 for each member, ”the official highlighted.
The Secretary added that the amount of each check will be determined based on the information in the Income Tax Return for the year 2020, in the case of those who have already filed the 2020 tax return, or if not, the 2019 tax return. Of the people who are not required to file a return, the Treasury will use the information from the alternate form that was prepared to send the aid last year. Local authorities expect to process most of the payments within four to five weeks after the plan is approved.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.