If President Joe Biden had his wish, the expanded child tax credits—seen by many as unofficial fourth coronavirus stimulus checks—would continue to head out to struggling American families for “years to come.”
Beginning July 15, nearly forty million families, including nearly 90 percent of all children in the United States, will benefit from the recurring monthly credits that were approved under the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan.
Know that this newest cash windfall is from the expansion of the child tax credits, which were generally set aside for certain families to claim a credit of up to $2,000 for children under the age of seventeen. But now, parents can net as much as $3,600 per year for a child under the age of six and up to $3,000 for children between ages six and seventeen.
Broken down further, that means a $250 or a $300 direct cash payment for each child will head into the bank accounts of eligible parents every month throughout this year. Furthermore, eighteen-year-old dependents and full-time college students who are under twenty-four can give their parents a one-time $500 payment.
“I have repeatedly said that America’s middle class deserves a tax cut, and we’re providing a significant tax cut to America’s working families with children through the largest-ever child tax credit. … This tax cut will give our nation’s hardworking families with children a little more breathing room when it comes to putting food on the table, paying the bills, and making ends meet,” Biden said in a statement.
“Across the nation, organizations that advocate for children, faith-based organizations and elected officials are holding events, training volunteers, announcing strategies to sign up the lowest income families, and using social media to explain how the Child Tax Credit will cut child poverty and why we must extend it through the American Families Plan,” he added.
According to the White House, “the new Child Tax Credit enacted in the American Rescue Plan is only for 2021—but President Biden’s American Families Plan proposes extending the credit for years and years to come.”
If the nearly $2 trillion American Families Plan ever gets green-lighted by Congress, the credits will continue to roll out through at least 2025.
“If passed, the families of tens of millions of children will continue to get regular payments,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a recent press briefing.
In addition, Rep. Richard Neal, the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, recently introduced a bill that aims to permanently extend the child tax credit. “For our economy to fully recover from this pandemic, we must finally acknowledge that workers have families, and caregiving responsibilities are real,” he said.
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Minneapolis-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.