EVERETT — Many parents began receiving a significant chunk of money this week.
The first round of Child Tax Credit payments — cash the federal government gives directly to parents — were hitting bank accounts Thursday. Nearly all working families will automatically receive the money, and monthly payments will continue through December.
The expanded Child Tax Credit, part of the federal American Rescue Plan Act, provides parents with up to $300 per month for each child. The tax credit expansion helped put money in parents’ hands sooner this year and increased the amount parents can receive for each child.
In total, parents can receive up to $3,600 for each child under 6 years old, and up to $3,000 for each child ages 6 to 17. Parents will receive about half of the money from the monthly payments that began Thursday and the other half after filing their 2021 taxes.
For each child under 6 years old, parents can receive up to $300 each month. For each child ages 6 to 17, parents can receive up to $250 each month.
U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-Medina, and Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Everett, both called for a permanent expansion of the Child Tax Credit. Previously, parents received $2,000 for each child of any age after filing their taxes. The expanded credit is in place for one year.
“Parents deserve the predictability a permanent expansion would provide as they raise their families,” DelBene said in a statement. “We must seize this moment to permanently expand the credit. … With support from the overwhelming majority of Democrats in both chambers and House and Senate leadership, we will use every tool at our disposal to help make this a permanent benefit.”
Larsen said the lack of accessible and affordable child care has put a large burden on families. While the issue existed before the pandemic, Larsen said, it has only gotten worse.
“There are lessons that we’ve learned during and from the pandemic that we need to act on,” Larsen said. “One of those lessons is that parents need help with the expenses of raising kids. It’s not a problem that was caused by the pandemic, but it was exacerbated by the pandemic.”
Most people will automatically receive the payments. However, parents who have not filed a tax return for 2019 or 2020 can use the IRS Child Tax Credit Non-filer Sign-up Tool to receive the money.
Single filers with an income below $75,000 are eligible for the full amount of money from the Child Tax Credit. People who file as a head of household with an income of less than $112,000, as well as people who are married or file jointly with an income of less than $150,000, are also eligible for the full amount.
Katie Hayes: email@example.com; Twitter: @misskatiehayes.
Katie Hayes is a Report for America corps member and writes about issues that affect the working class for The Daily Herald.