As the Internal Revenue Service gears up later this month to issue the expanded child tax credits—seen by some as the unofficial version of fourth coronavirus stimulus checks—many eligible parents might be under the impression that these expanded recurring monthly payments don’t have an expiration date.
Unfortunately, know that they, in fact, do—with the $250 or a $300 direct cash payment for each child every month ending with the final payment in December.
Against this backdrop and with the fact of millions of low-income Americans still scraping by amid the ongoing pandemic, there have already been strong calls within the White House and Congress to make the expansion of these credits permanent.
“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,” President Joe Biden said in a statement, adding that about forty million families, including nearly 90 percent of all children in the country, will benefit from the credits that were approved under the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan.
“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.
If the nearly $2 trillion American Families Plan eventually receives approval by Congress, the expanded credits will continue to head out to eligible parents through at least 2025.
“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,” the White House said.
During a recent press briefing, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that “if passed, the families of tens of millions of children will continue to get regular payments.”
According to recent reports and studies, being able to get these “regular payments” would improve the lives of millions of children. A report released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation revealed that a permanent expansion of the child tax credit could potentially lift more than four million children out of poverty.
U.S. Census Bureau data show that approximately ten million children currently live in poverty in the United States.
“Every child needs food, health care and safe and stable housing. Millions of households with children already lacked these necessities before the pandemic,” the report contends. “To continue on progress already made on recovery, the foundation recommends: making the expansion of the federal child tax credit permanent.”
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.