Child Tax Credit: Why December Payment Could Possibly Be the Last

by Clayton Edwards
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(Photo credit: Douglas Sacha via Getty Images)

Back in July, parents across the United States started getting advance payments on their child tax credit. Every month, a new payment of up to $300 per child hit parents’ mailboxes or bank accounts. Now, six months later, those payments could be coming to an end.

The child tax credit payments came as part of the massive coronavirus relief bill that President Biden signed into law in March of this year. However, that plan is only in effect until the end of 2021. Many Democratic leaders are hoping to extend the safety net, but are facing pushback from the other side of the aisle as well as members of their own party, according to CNN. They’ve added another year of advance payments into their $1.9 trillion spending bill.

Continuing the advance child tax credit payments will be expensive. That’s why many Republicans and West Virginia’s Democratic Senator Joe Manchin are opposed to doing it. Currently, the nation is waiting to see if the spending bill will pass the Senate. The House passed it last month.

To put the cost into perspective, 61 million families received child tax credit payments last month. The total cost of those payments was $15 billion. Since July, the Treasury Department has sent out around $77 billion to qualifying parents across the nation.

Even if that piece of legislation makes it through the Senate and Biden signs it, the child tax credit payments could be interrupted. The Internal Revenue Service told Congress that they have until December 28 to pass the bill. If they don’t meet the deadline, the IRS will not be able to guarantee a mid-January payment. That is assuming, however, that the bill doesn’t die in the Senate before it passes which is a real possibility.

Changes to Child Tax Credit Payment Eligibility

Even if the spending bill does make it through the Senate, fewer families will get the child tax credit payments. However, many American families will still qualify. Under the new spending package, the income cutoff for single filers is $112,500 and $150,000 for those filing jointly. Anyone who makes more than that will not receive checks moving forward.

Currently, those cutoffs are the same. However, the child tax credits just start getting smaller. If they continue to send monthly stipends, those making more than the allowed amount will be cut off completely.

Whether or not the spending package is passed and the government continues sending out advance payments, the child tax credit will still be available. As in the past, families can file for the credit on their taxes and receive the money as part of their annual tax refund after the beginning of the year.

Outsider.com