As the Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department begin to issue the first batch of the highly anticipated expanded child tax credits that were approved under President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan, there are already growing calls among those in Washington who are contending that these benefits should be made permanent.
One of the more high-profile proponents of the recurring checks is Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.
“For the first time in our nation’s history, American working families are receiving monthly tax relief payments to help pay for essentials like doctor’s visits, school supplies, and groceries,” she said in a Treasury statement.
“This major middle-class tax relief and step in reducing child poverty is a remarkable economic victory for America—and also a moral one,” she continued.
Yellen reiterated her stance on Thursday during an interview on National Public Radio.
“I think this is something that's very important to continue,” she said on the Morning Edition program.
“It’s a very important program that will do a huge amount to relieve child poverty, which has been a tremendously important problem in the United States,” she added.
Hard Cash For Families
This newest government-issued cash windfall was green-lighted via Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus bill, which now allows 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 means that a $250 or a $300 payment for each child will be deposited into the bank accounts of parents on a monthly basis through the end of the year.
However, much like the traditional stimulus checks, income thresholds still need to be met. To qualify for the full child tax credit amount, a family headed by a couple should earn less than $150,000, while for individuals it is set at $75,000.
American Families Plan
The expanded credits will only be continued to be disbursed through December. But if Biden’s American Families Plan ever gets approval from Congress, the payments would continue to head out to eligible parents 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 about 90 percent of all children in the country will see direct benefits from the monthly payments.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki noted during a recent press briefing that “if passed, the families of tens of millions of children will continue to get regular payments.”
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.