The Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department may only be in month number two of issuing advance payments from the expanded child tax credits, but there are already passionate calls among cash-strapped American parents to extend the payments beyond this year.
However, early data is already indicating that the child tax credits are having a sizeable impact on millions of struggling Americans, especially children, amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The latest Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey has suggested that parents who have received the funds reported less trouble affording food and paying for basic household expenses. It added that approximately 10 percent of American households with children sometimes or often didn’t have enough to eat over the past week—the lowest percentage registered since the pandemic started a year and a half ago.
“Sixty-one million children across America are benefiting from the advance Child Tax Credit, helping families put food on the table and meet the needs of the next generation,” the Treasury Department’s Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo noted in a statement.
“We want every eligible family to have access to the Advance Child Tax Credit, which is why we will continue our outreach efforts to drive enrollment as our children return to school,” he continued.
This newest government-issued cash windfall was green-lighted via President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which enables eligible parents to collect 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. This all means that a $250 or a $300 payment for each child will be directly deposited on a monthly basis through the end of the year.
Extending Beyond 2021
However, if Biden’s highly ambitious American Families Plan ever gets approval from Congress, the payments would continue to head out through the year 2025.
“Across the nation, organizations that advocate for children (are) 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,” Biden said in a statement, adding that 90 percent of all U.S. children will directly benefit from the monthly payments.
A recent report released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation has shown that a permanent expansion of the child tax credits could lift more than four million children out of poverty.
Approximately ten million children currently live in poverty in the United States, according to the Census Bureau.
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Washington state-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.