MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin taxpayers with children under age 18 are eligible for a $100 per-child tax rebate. Here's how to claim the money:
WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?
Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican-controlled Legislature approved the rebate. Democrats allege the one-time rebate is nothing more than an election-year bribe. But Walker and Republicans say sound fiscal management that led to a budget surplus made it possible to return the money. It's estimated that $122 million will be returned to taxpayers, but that depends on how many claim it.
The application window opened Tuesday and runs through July 2. Applications can be submitted online through a Wisconsin Department of Revenue website: https://childtaxrebate.wi.gov . Applications can also be made by calling 608-266-5437. That line will be answered Monday through Friday, from 7:45 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., but the Revenue Department said there could be significant wait times.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE
The rebate can only be claimed for children who were under age 18 as of Dec. 31, 2017. They must also be U.S. citizens and Wisconsin residents. They also must have been claimed as dependents for the 2017 tax year. Only one person can claim the rebate for any one child.
BIRTH AND DEATH
Children born in 2017 are eligible, but those born in 2018 are not. If the child was alive in 2017 but died that year or in 2018, they are eligible as long as they met the other qualifying criteria.
INFORMATION TO HAVE READY
Applicants will need to submit their Social Security or Individual Tax Identification numbers along with the qualified child's legal name, Social Security number and date of birth. Anyone who only lived a part of the year in Wisconsin last year will have to provide additional documentation to qualify. There are also options to file if a child does not have a Social Security number.
The rebates will come either as a direct deposit or a mailed check.
After applying, the taxpayer will receive a confirmation number that they can use to check on the status of a claim through the website. The Revenue Department said most rebates will be issued within three weeks of filing a claim. Others selected for review could take eight weeks.
By 2 p.m. Tuesday, 71,000 people had made at least one claim with the state Department of Revenue, which estimated that claims for 1.2 million children would ultimately be submitted. Even Democrats who voted against the tax rebate were touting it. Reps. Nick Milroy, of South Range, and Jonathan Brostoff, of Milwaukee, both voted against it in February but were tweeting Tuesday about how to apply.