Government Shutdown: Could Dec. 15 Child Tax Credit Be Impacted?

Congress Works On Domestic Agenda On Capitol Hill, u.s. Capitol, Washington, Dc, United States - 23 Sep 2021
Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times /

With another potential government shutdown looming, many Americans might be wondering (again) how their monthly Child Tax Credit payments will be affected. For now, it looks like the advance payments due on Dec. 15 are safe — at least according to recent comments from Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.

See: Taxes 2021: How the Child Tax Credit and Student Loans Could Reduce Your Total Refund
Find: Stimulus Update: Child Tax Credit Opt-Out Deadline for 2021 Is Nov. 29

That’s the case even though the U.S. government is set to shut down on Dec. 3 unless Congress approves more funding to keep it operating through the end of the year, CNBC reported. This is the same scenario that lawmakers faced back in late September, when Congress approved a measure to fund the government through early December. As GOBankingRates reported at the time, that stopgap vote came only hours before the government was due to run out of money.

Even if no such deal is struck this time around, Americans should still get their advance CTC payments. In a Nov. 16 letter to Congress, Yellen said the Treasury Department will be able to fund the government through Dec. 15 — the same day families are due to get their final advance CTC payments for the year.

“My guess is that they’ll make the payment — not doing so would be very disruptive to many families,” Elaine Maag, a principal research associate at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, told CNBC.

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See: Are Child Tax Credit Payments Taxable?
Find: Government Shutdown 2021: Senate Passes Short-Term Debt Ceiling Bill, Funding Country Into December

Beyond that, it’s anybody’s guess what will happen. President Joe Biden and House Democrats have included a one-year expansion of the enhanced CTC in their version of the Build Back Better plan, but the Senate might push back against that provision when it votes on the plan.

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About the Author

Vance Cariaga is a London-based writer, editor and journalist who previously held staff positions at Investor’s Business Daily, The Charlotte Business Journal and The Charlotte Observer. His work also appeared in Charlotte Magazine, Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal and Business North Carolina magazine. He holds a B.A. in English from Appalachian State University and studied journalism at the University of South Carolina. His reporting earned awards from the North Carolina Press Association, the Green Eyeshade Awards and AlterNet. In addition to journalism, he has worked in banking, accounting and restaurant management. A native of North Carolina who also writes fiction, Vance’s short story, “Saint Christopher,” placed second in the 2019 Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition. Two of his short stories appear in With One Eye on the Cows, an anthology published by Ad Hoc Fiction in 2019. His debut novel, Voodoo Hideaway, was published in 2021 by Atmosphere Press.
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