Child Tax Credit Questions, Answers: Democrats Propose Economic Relief

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Source: Brooks Kraft / Getty

UPDATED: 2:30 p.m. ET, June 21

Original story: Feb. 8

Monday marked the first-ever Child Tax Credit Awareness Day as the federal government looked to tout and draw attention to the financial relief President Joe Biden signed into law to benefit working families. In just about a month, families with children 17 and younger will begin receiving the first of 12-scheduled monthly payments as par of the American Rescue Plan.

Tens of millions of American families are expected to benefit from the new, expanded child tax credit, which will likely provide an outsized boost to the Black and brown households disproportionately affected by the coronavirus and subsequent economic fallout from the pandemic.

Monthly payments of up to $300 per child 17 and younger will be paid to about 39 million families beginning on July 15. That’s about 88% of the children in America, according to the Treasury Department.

On Monday, the White House tweeted that the payments were still on schedule to be sent beginning July 15.

The American Rescue Plan was passed in February and provides $3,600 per child under the age of six and $3,000 for children ages six through 17. The monthly payments were set to expire on July 15, 2022.

Included as a part of Biden’s recovery plan announced in January, experts from Columbia University found that expanding the tax credit along with other proposed measures would reduce child poverty by more than 51%. 

Like the stimulus payments, the IRS will issue monthly checks based on the child’s age and the filer’s income. This would provide families with immediate relief instead of having to wait to file taxes. Single parents earning up to $75,000 and couples earning up to $150,000 would be eligible for the full amount.

Currently, the child tax credit gives families a credit up to $2,000 per child under age 17. In cases where the credit is more than the amount owed, families have their refund capped at up to $1,400 per child.

Statistics show that the pandemic has hurt Black and brown communities more than others, making the need for financial assistance exponentially pressing for them. Not only are Black people dying from the coronavirus at nearly three times the amount as white people but Black unemployment remains the highest of any group.

Anoa Changa is a movement journalist and retired attorney based in Atlanta, Georgia. Follow Anoa on Instagram and Twitter @thewaywithanoa.


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