The Biden administration passed the expanded child tax credit in 2021, which mandated direct payments to most American families every month between July and December of last year. The White House also spent much of the final months of 2021 seeking to extend the child tax credit by another year, but the Build Back Better agenda stalling out in the Senate put an end to that.
Part of the funds from the expanded child tax credit will become available at tax time, and ahead of filing season, the White House has announced a “Day of Action” on Tuesday, to be led by Vice President Kamala Harris.
The idea, the White House said, is to encourage families to file a tax return for 2022, in order to receive the rest of the child tax credit. “While the families of 61 million children received advance monthly payments between July and December 2021, families need to file a tax return to receive the second half,” the statement said. Families are also advised that they can still receive their $1,400 stimulus check from 2021, if they didn’t receive it yet, by filing their tax return.
“Some taxpayers with qualifying children – like those who welcomed a new baby in 2021 or those who haven’t filed taxes in recent years and did not use the non-filer portal – can get their full Child Tax Credit by filing their tax returns,” the release said.
Several lawmakers, including those who pushed hard for the tax credit like Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Cory Booker (D-NJ) participated in a press call to push the Day of Action. Non-profits will also host events around the country.
The Administration also announced the arrival of a “new and improved” website, ChildTaxCredit.Gov, which lets taxpayers know how they can get their expanded tax credit. The tax filing deadline this year is April 18. “Studies show that it has helped people with the most basic essentials, including food and rent, as well as costs related to school, after school, saving, and paying down credit cards. About half of middle-income parents report spending their child tax credit payments on their mortgage, rent, utilities, or a car payment,” the website says. The site also directs taxpayers to free filing options for their taxes.
The White House and Democrats in Congress are continuing to push the extension of the 2021 child tax credit, although the idea’s path forward remains unclear. However, the Day of Action is more about getting people their already-appropriated money than any political push to extend the credit.
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.