By: Amanda Nowalk and Laura Brennan
Tax season is here – make sure you receive the full amount of your CTC!
From July to December 2021 the expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC), enacted through the American Rescue Plan, provided working families with automatic monthly payments to help support the costs of raising a child amid the pandemic. The historic investment expired in January. As a result, millions of children were forced back into poverty and an essential resource to families who continue to face the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic was eliminated.
If you received part of the CTC through monthly payments from July to December, you are still owed half of your CTC. But, you must file your taxes in order to receive it. If you qualified for monthly payments and did not receive them, you can still get the full credit in one lump sum payment when you file your taxes.
Read more about the CTC and determine your eligibility here. To file your taxes online for free and receive your payment you can use this mobile-friendly sign-up tool.
What has been the impact of the expanded Child Tax Credit?
Benefits from the expanded CTC were far-reaching. More than 36 million households in the U.S. – 61 million children – received monthly payments of $250 to $300 per child. This resulted in:
- A 30% monthly reduction in child poverty;
- 91% of families with low household income using the payments to pay for basic necessities; and
- A reduction in the number of households with children who reported food insecurity (13.7 percent in July 2021 to 9.5 percent in August 2021)
Families received the final expanded payment on December 15th, 2021. The failure to extend the program has already had a negative impact on children and families, including:
- A 41.1% increase in the child poverty rate, with 3.7 million children falling back into poverty and disproportionate impacts on Black and Latinx children; and
- Over a third of parents with children at home reportedly struggling to cover usual household costs representing an increase of 5%
How poverty affects the LGBTQI+ community
The CTC is critical for LGBTQI+ individuals who, even before the pandemic, were at greater risk of experiencing economic insecurities than their non-LGBTQI+ counterparts. And, as a result of the pandemic, the Movement Advancement Project found that:
- Nearly two-thirds (64%) of LGBTQ households faced job or wage disruption during the pandemic compared to 45% of straight households; and
- 66% of LGBTQ households had serious financial problems during the pandemic, including paying utilities, affording medical care, and paying credit card bills compared to 44% of non-LGBTQ households.
Congress must act now!
During tax season, poverty rates are expected to decline as families receive their remaining CTC payments. This decline will be temporary and LGBTQI+ individuals and individuals of color, both disproportionately experience poverty. Congress must act now to ensure all children and families continue to receive needed support through the expanded CTC.
Contact Your Senators
Urge your Senators to pass legislation that would reinstate the expanded Child Tax Credit Payments!