White House one-on-one: What to know about the upcoming monthly child tax credit

El Paso News

Economic stimulus checks are printed at the Philadelphia Financial Center May 8, 2008, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jeff Fusco/Getty Images)

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Eligible families in El Paso will soon receive monthly child tax credit payments as part of President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan.

On July 15, the IRS will begin the distribution of advanced payments that are part of the enhanced child tax credit (CTC). The White House says more than 88 percent of households with children in the U.S. will receive the payments.

“This benefit, which could be up to $3,600 for parents with a young kid and $3,000 per year for parents with an older kid,” said Jared Bernstein, a member of the White House Council of Economic Advisors.

The credit raises the existing tax benefit for eligible families to receive between $2,000 and $3,000 a year for children ages 6 through 17 and as much as $3,600 for children under 6.

The tax credit means that eligible families will see reductions in their taxes on a dollar-for-dollar basis. The credit is refundable, meaning qualifying taxpayers will receive payment even if the taxpayer doesn’t have any earned income or earns too little to pay taxes.

The Biden Administration says these credits, in conjunction with other components of the American Rescue Plan, will strengthen the economy while also reducing child poverty across the country by half. 

In El Paso, almost 20 percent of the population lives in poverty.

“You could be talking about a family that earns $20,000 a year. If they get $6,000 in a child tax credit with a couple of kids, that’s a bump in their income of 30 percent,” said Bernstein.

The benefits are worth as much as $300 a month for each qualifying child under 6 years old, as of Dec. 31, 2021, and as much as $250 a month for each child between 6 and 17.

The payments will be distributed on the 15th of each month starting in July, which means taxpayers will receive between $1,500 and $1,800 per child through the end of the year.

To make up for the first six months of 2021, taxpayers will receive benefits for January through June 2021 when their 2022 tax returns are filed.

Like the stimulus checks, the CTC payments will be deposited directly to the taxpayer’s bank account or sent in check form or as a pre-loaded debit card.

Non-filers and those who didn’t make enough to file 2020 tax returns should file now in order to receive the payment, according to the IRS.

The White House said these payments have massive implications for children in the Borderland.

“It means that kids who grow up in poverty, who face lead in their drinking water, who don’t have the educational opportunities and nutritional support they need, are going to get it,” said Bernstein.

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