The $1,400 stimulus payments from the American Rescue Plan Act are nearly finished being distributed. And even though an additional stimulus check is unlikely to happen this year, many Americans will be getting additional payments, starting next month.
That’s thanks to the expanded child tax credit, which was also passed as part of the American Rescue Plan. The first payments from that will arrive in mid-July.
The change, which affects the 2021 tax year only, will put more money in the pockets of Americans who have children.
“For tax year 2021, families claiming the CTC will receive up to $3,000 per qualifying child between the ages of 6 and 17 at the end of 2021. They will receive $3,600 per qualifying child under age 6 at the end of 2021. Under the prior law, the amount of the CTC was up to $2,000 per qualifying child under the age of 17 at the end of the year,” the IRS said on its website.
The amounts will be phased out for those with higher incomes, including “over $150,000 for married taxpayers filing a joint return and qualifying widows or widowers, $112,500 for heads of household, and $75,000 for all other taxpayers,” the IRS said.
The payments will be made in installments, from July through December. In order to get the money, filers will only have to file their tax return.
“The IRS urges people with children to file their 2020 tax returns as soon as possible to make sure they’re eligible for the appropriate amount of the CTC as well as any other tax credits they’re eligible for, including the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Filing electronically with direct deposit also can speed refunds and future advance CTC payments.”
While the expanded child tax credit is for one year only, President Biden has proposed extending it to 2025, as part of his American Families Plan.
“The American Families Plan will extend key tax cuts in the American Rescue Plan that benefit lower- and middle-income workers and families, including the Child Tax Credit, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit. In addition to making it easier for families to make ends meet, tax credits for working families have been shown to boost child academic and economic performance over time,” the White House said in a fact sheet touting the proposal, published in late April.
Meanwhile, some Democrats in Congress, led by House Mays and Means Chairman Richard Neal of Massachusetts, has called for the expanded child tax credit to be made permanent, although it’s not clear whether the votes are there in Congress for such a move.
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.