By: Gabrielle Avellaneda and Daniella Torres-Skendi
The Child Tax Credit (CTC) in the American Rescue Plan provides the largest Child Tax Credit ever. It offers 30 million households historic relief by providing nearly all working families $3,000-3,600 per child through automatic monthly payments.
But the new CTC enacted in the American Rescue Plan is only applicable in 2021. President Biden and Congressional champions are calling on Congress to extend this new credit for years and years to come. Family Equality agrees! LGBTQ+ families need this child tax credit to be expanded permanently. We are also calling for the expansions of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to be made permanent. Continue reading to find out why.
What is the Expanded Child Tax Credit?
The child tax credit (CTC) is a tax benefit to help families who are raising children. When the American Rescue Plan was signed into law on March 11, 2021, it expanded this CTC so that more families could get more help. Specifically, it:
- Increases the credit from $2,000 per child in 2020 to $3,600 per child under six years old and $3,000 per child between ages 6 and 16.
- Extends the $3,000 credit to 17-year-olds.
- Allows nearly all families in need to get the full amount. Previously, low-income families did not get the same amount (or any) of the CTC, but now all working families will get the full credit if they make up to $150,000 for a couple or $112,500 for a family with a single parent.
- Provides payments monthly, so that families can receive their money sooner
The American Rescue Plan also expanded the Earned Income Tax Credit, a wage supplement for low-income workers, to workers 19-24 and over 65, as well as many more childless workers.
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities said that the CTC and EITC expansions will reduce child poverty by more than 40%.
How would a permanent expansion help LGBTQ+ families?
Because of discrimination and systemic oppression, LGBTQ+ families face disproportionately higher rates of poverty compared to their non-LGBTQ+ counterparts. In fact…
- 43% of lesbian, gay and bisexual adults aged 18 to 44 raising children live in poverty.
- LGBTQ+ people are 38% more likely to live in poverty than their non-LGBTQ+ counterparts.
- Black same-sex couples are more likely to live in poverty than straight Black couples or white same-sex couples.
And, because LGBTQ+ people are overrepresented in industries highly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic (like restaurants, hospitals, education, and retail), it is reported that LGBTQ+ people are experiencing 42% greater rates of job loss during the pandemic than their non-LGBTQ+ counterparts.
We know that LGBTQ+ people recovered less quickly from the Great Recession of 2009, and without proper supports, we fear a similar outcome following the COVID-19 pandemic.
There is no way to understate the importance of support like the expanded CTC and EITC. They provide our working LGBTQ+ families with the relief they need to support their children. That is why we join President Biden and Congressional champions in calling for an extension of the new CTC and EITC for years to come. We also call on Congress to extend the CTC and EITC to all immigrant families and workers.
How can you ensure you’re receiving your family’s monthly expanded CTC payment?
Most taxpayers don’t need to take any action to receive their payments. Check if you might be eligible for advance payments of the CTC with this new online assistance tool.
If you are eligible, filed your taxes in 2020 or 2019, and have not received your payment from July 15, sign up here.
If you didn’t make enough to be required to file taxes in 2020 or 2019, or if you do NOT file your taxes, you can still get benefits! Low-income families with children are eligible for this crucial tax relief, so click here to sign-up as a non-filer.
We would love to learn more about how the CTC will help your family, so we can continue to advocate for a permanently extended credit. Share what you plan to do with your monthly payments via writing or video here.
Vea esta información en español aquí.
If you didn’t receive the credit for your kids under 18, make sure to sign up now using the new, simplified tool that is mobile-friendly: