Will monthly child tax credit payments continue in 2022? Their future rests on Biden’s Build Back Better bill
Soon after taking office, President Joe Biden signed into law the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan—the third and final stimulus package aimed at combating the COVID-19 crisis. For the 2021 tax season, it temporarily upped the child tax credit from $2,000 to $3,000 per dependent ages 6 to 17, and from $2,000 to $3,600 for children age 5 or younger. And unlike previous years, up to half of that money could come early through monthly $250 or $300 checks sent between July and December.
Now, even before those monthly child tax credit advances run out (the final two payments come on Nov. 15 and Dec. 15), Democratic leaders in Congress are working to extend the benefit into 2022.
The slim Democratic majorities in the House and Senate are currently debating a massive $1.75 trillion reconciliation bill. This latest reiteration of the Build Back Better plan would extend the $3,000 and $3,600 child tax credits for another year. The president had been pushing to extend the benefit through 2025; however, that ambition was scaled back when Democratic leadership cut the overall bill from over $3 trillion to $1.75 trillion last month in an attempt to appease their moderate members.
If signed into law, the White House says the bill would mean the $250 and $300 monthly payments would go out monthly in 2022. In total, it would cover 35 million households—or 90% of those with children. The eligibility requirements would be the same as the 2021 expanded child tax credit. It would cover single filers whose modified adjusted gross income is less than $75,000 per year and couples filing jointly who earn up to $150,000.
But nothing is for sure.
Passing this bill through the U.S. Senate, where Democrats hold the 50-50 split chamber only through a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Kamala Harris, will be a challenge. Moderate Democratic senators, in particular Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), have yet to say they’re onboard with the Build Back Better framework.
“There’s no work requirement [with the expanded child tax credits] whatsoever…Don’t you think, if we’re going to help the children, that the people should make some effort?” Manchin said last month.
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