Extending This Child Tax Credit Provision Will Reduce Poverty By 19%

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Mother Ladayna Jordan, left, leads her children, Alayna, Aedan, Aaliyah and Ahmier Davis, left to right, to the front door of Normont Elementary School on the first day of classroom instruction on the 16th August, as LAUSD officials welcome students, teachers, principals, to various school sites in Los Angeles.

Al Seib | Los Angeles Weather | Getty Images

The expanded child tax credit, established in March by the US bailout, will be maintained for only one year, according to the Democrats’ latest spending proposal.

But a key part of the credit – the full repayment – will be made permanent, according to the Democrat’s plan.

Maintaining repayment will reduce child poverty by 19%, according to research conducted by the Jain Family Institute.

“The key to the child tax credit is to make it fully refundable,” said Stephen Nuñez, senior guaranteed income researcher at Jain and co-author of the article. “So that money is not stuck behind what happens in the workforce in any given year for parents.”

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The details

The existing child tax credit was expanded in March by the US bailout as one of many responses to the coronavirus pandemic and the recession that followed.

The enhanced credit included advance monthly payments from July to December 2021, increased the benefit from $ 2,000 to $ 3,000 with a $ 600 premium for children under 6, and made 17-year-olds eligible to the benefit for tax year 2021.

It was also made fully refundable, meaning families didn’t have to show earned income to receive the money. Previously, the credit was partially refundable up to $ 1,400, which meant that people earning less than $ 2,500 per year did not get the benefit even if they had children who would otherwise have qualified.

If the Democrat’s budget resolution passes as is, the credit will be extended in that form until tax year 2022.

In 2023, the credit would revert to its age conditions and previous amounts – $ 2,000 for those under 17 – but would be available to families with the lowest incomes.

Who does full reimbursement help

Maintaining full repayment means that some 27 million children will continue to receive money through credit.

This will have a bigger impact on children of color: full reimbursement would reduce African-American child poverty by 30%, according to the research paper.

“Full repayment is especially important for those who are the most vulnerable children of low-income families,” said Jack Landry, guaranteed income researcher at the Jain Family Institute and co-author of the article.

Granted, if the Democrats’ original plan that included a longer extension of full improved credit had been implemented, it would have reduced child poverty by about 40%, according to the report.

Nonetheless, maintaining the full refund would significantly reduce child poverty than returning to the credit as it was in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which still left 13.4% of children in poverty. . It’s also much cheaper than keeping the bigger $ 3,000 credit: the extra cost per year of a full repayment is $ 17 billion, as opposed to the $ 45 billion it would cost to maintain. the larger profit, according to the newspaper.

Go forward

While the improved child tax credit appears to be safe under the Democrats’ budget resolution so far, things may still change.

Because Democrats seek to pass the legislation through a fast-track process called reconciliation, the Senate’s 50 Democrats must agree.

Nonetheless, advocates will continue to press for full repayment of the loan to become permanent.

“If extended credit is to be changed to reduce costs, the room to be cut is among the wealthiest families,” said Natalie Foster, co-founder and co-chair of the Economic Security Project. “Not by leaving low-income families, especially families of color, at the mercy of future Congresses.”

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