WASHINGTON, D.C. — A dramatic change in how parents will receive child tax credit payments will start July 15.
Instead of one lump sum during tax return season, parents will be able to receive monthly installments to help offset the cost of raising a child.
Vice President Kamala Harris commemorated Child Tax Credit Awareness Day with a stop in Pittsburgh on Monday.
"Our responsibility, our duty [is] to all our community’s children. When you look in their eyes, you can see our future is bright," Harris said.
The child tax credit change is part of the America Rescue Plan, which was signed into law earlier this year.
"The increase and the expansion of the child tax credit is one of the most important, one of the most impactful parts of the American Rescue Plan. On Child Tax Credit Awareness Day, we are getting the word out about this tax relief," said Harris.
Harris said the impact of these tax credits will be felt for generations.
“It will be felt not only by children today, not only by children now, it will be felt by families and communities, and by extension, our country, for generations to come,” said Harris.
WHAT PARENTS NEED TO DO
The vast majority of parents don't need to do anything to receive the payments.
The IRS already has information on file from those who filed their taxes and letters have been mailed to households indicating how much the IRS believes they qualify to receive.
Eligible families will begin receiving advance payments, either by direct deposit or check.
The payment will be up to $300 per month for each qualifying child under age 6 and up to $250 per month for each qualifying child ages 6 to 17.
The IRS will issue advance Child Tax Credit payments on July 15, August 13, September 15, October 15, November 15, and December 15.
The benefit is scheduled to end after this year unless Congress extends it.
Much of today is focused on reaching Americans who qualify for the child tax credit but don't file their taxes.
More than 3 million children live in households that could be at risk of missing out, according to estimates from the nonpartisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and Propel, a private company that handles SNAP benefits.
The main reason is millions of lower-income households don’t file taxes because they fear they don’t have the money to do so or they don’t make enough to file in the first place.
The IRS has launched an online website to help those Americans, which will allow those Americans to get access to the money even though they haven’t filed taxes.
Supporters of the tax credit believe it will cut childhood poverty in half in 2021.
“What we know is when more families know about the relief that is included in the American Rescue Plan, when more families know about how they can get the relief, that is how we will be able to lift our children out of poverty. That is how we will lift up our nation's middle class as well,” said Harris during her remarks on Monday.
That of course requires the poorest of Americans to participate.
The White House has set up a website, ChildTaxCredit.gov, to help families understand the child tax credit and to sign up. It has useful information in both English and Spanish.
"For parents working to make ends meet and raise their children with greater security, dignity, and opportunity, help is here. On this Child Tax Credit Awareness Day, let us all work together to make sure that the help that is here reaches those who most need it, this year and for years to come," wrote President Joe Biden in a statement about Child Tax Credit Awareness Day.