The Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department have revealed a new online tool to help more than 36 million Americans receive their monthly child tax credit.
The new tool — a sign-up portal — is planned to help low-income families that often do not receive the credit or have not qualified for stimulus payments passed by Congress early last year, according to CBS News.
Starting July 15, the Treasury Department will give families with children under age 6 a monthly check of $300 for each child through the end of the year.
Families with children ages 6 to 17 will receive $250 a month for each child.
The new structure will allow low-income families that otherwise weren’t earning enough to pay taxes to receive payments.
Families with children born before 2021 who did not file an income tax return for 2019 or 2020 and failed to use the IRS’ tool can enter their information and receive direct deposits starting next month as well.
“At Treasury, our goal is to make sure that every American can get the relief funding they need as simply as possible,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement, according to CBS News.
“We know working families can’t put off paying for doctor’s visits or grocery bills, and this new tool will help more people get their tax credit every month, starting in July.”
The new credit system was passed as a part of President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan, which offered eligibility to individuals making up to $75,000, single-parent head-of-household filers earning as much as $112,500, and married couples filing jointly a combined income of up to $150,000.
Republicans worry that the monthly advance payments could be miscalculated.
“The new CTC and other provisions in [the American Rescue Plan] fail to learn from lessons of the past, are not targeted to pandemic relief, and risk the loss of billions of taxpayer dollars in fraudulent and improper payments,” Reps. Kevin Brady of Texas and Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania wrote in April, according to The Hill.
“A new, monthly payment system will likely lead to an increase, rather than a decrease, in improper payments.”
The pair also said levels of fraud have been high since last year, when benefits including unemployment were authorized and expanded. The expansion of the child tax credit could result in “an even more powerful fraud magnet,” the lawmakers said.
The shift is argued to benefit working-class families that must balance their budgets on a monthly basis. Under the new system, families can enroll in either month-based or annual payment plans.
Support for the initiative is not bipartisan, however. Democrats and Republicans disagree on the lengths to which the child care credit will benefit families.
Many Democratic lawmakers are pushing for the plan to remain permanent, extending it past the year-end deadline.
Republicans, both for and against the plan, have offered alternatives, including Sen. Mitt Romney’s proposed Family Security Act. The Republican caucus voted uniformly against Biden’s American Families Plan, which included the current tax credit.
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