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Harris County approves $500K expansion fund to help families apply for Child Tax Credit

There are at least 30,000 more families in the county who could benefit from the monthly payments, according to Judge Lina Hidalgo.
Credit: Vitalii Vodolazskyi

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas — Organizations in Harris County are expanding their efforts to help families register for the Child Tax Credit. County commissioners approved $500,000 for BakerRipley as they assist low-income residents to apply.

Since July, the IRS has been sending families up to $300 a month for each child younger than 18 years old. Those who received the tax credit were identified either through 2019 or 2020 tax returns or by using the Non-Filers tool to get their COVID stimulus checks.

Judge Lina Hidalgo says Harris County has at least 30,000 families that have children eligible for the program but do not file taxes. She says that those who don’t file should have some sort of record to be deemed eligible for the tax credit.

“Let's not leave money on the table,” says Judge Hidalgo. “Today, I want to make sure people know that this program is out there, remind you to take advantage of it, and remind you also to work with these organizations to receive the support that you need."

The approved funds for BakerRipley will allow them to hire more workers and expand their opening hours to help more people apply for the monthly tax credit. They’ll also continue to work with other organizations like United Way and Houston’s Chinese Community Center. Those that need help applying for the Child Tax Credit can look at the Baker Ripley Tax Center online or call 713-273-3755.

BakerRipley CEO Claudia Agguire says their expansion will help low-income residents, especially those in non-traditional family units.

"We've got grandparents, we've got siblings, we've got aunts, uncles that are raising children,” Agguire says. “We want to make sure you understand that you are eligible for these dollars. Because at the end, the most vulnerable children are going without and we need to make sure we support them."