Stimulus Update: Will December’s Child Tax Credit Payment be the Last?

Mother and daughter making a snowman in front of the house.
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The sixth and final advance payment of the child tax credit for 2021 is scheduled to be deposited next week, but the future of the program is still unknown.

See: Taxes 2021: How the Child Tax Credit and Student Loans Could Reduce Your Total Refund
Find: Didn’t Get Your Child Tax Credit? Here’s How to Track It Down

A group of 95 Congressional Democrats is strongly pushing the Senate to pass President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better spending bill by the end of December to avoid any lapse in payments.

Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-Washington and Chair of the New Democrat Coalition urged the Senate to pass the legislation, stating: “Our members stood united in passing the Build Back Better Act last month and now it is time for the Senate to act before the expanded Child Tax Credit payments expire at the end of December.”

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“American families cannot afford to lose this critical middle-class tax cut, which has cut child poverty in half and helped millions of families afford childcare, pay their bills, and put food on the table.”

Under the proposed legislation, the Child Tax Credit would be extended for one additional year.

The current child tax credit has been distributed in monthly payments of either $250 or $300 for each eligible dependent child depending on age and income. The entire benefit amount will amount to $3,600 per eligible child maximum, with half of the benefit, $1,800 deposited in the six monthly payments. The other half will be eligible during next year at tax time.

In addition to the push from legislators, Biden has made clear several times in the past his ambitions for extending the child tax credit for at least an additional year. 

The advance portions of the child tax credit have already propelled millions of children out of poverty and tens of thousands out of food insecurity in the short months in which they have been distributed. A new report shows 10 million children would return to poverty if the legislation isn’t passed, according to GOBankingRates.

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See: 10 Million Children Will Return to Poverty if the Child Tax Credit Ends
Find: Could Biden’s Build Back Better Plan Make Inflation Worse? Senior Economists Are Torn, but Not Overly Concerned

Although there is a significant push to continue the payments, as of now, next week’s payment of Dec. 15, is currently the last scheduled advance payment. The other half of the credit will be available to families to be claimed next year when taxes are filed.

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About the Author

Georgina Tzanetos is a former financial advisor who studied post-industrial capitalist structures at New York University. She has eight years of experience with concentrations in asset management, portfolio management, private client banking, and investment research. Georgina has written for Investopedia and WallStreetMojo. 

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