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A bill proposed on Tuesday aims to make recent child tax credit improvements permanent.
Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee and gatekeeper to the new tax law, issued a bill that would codify changes to the latest US $ 1.9 trillion bailout plan.
The Covid Relief Measure signed by President Joe Biden on March 11 increased the maximum child tax credit, made it fully refundable, and allowed families to receive the tax break in monthly installments.
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Most policies are aimed at providing lower income households with more income support and reducing child poverty. Without action by Congress, they would only apply to the 2021 tax year.
Neal's Law to Build an Economy for Families would make the improvements an integral part of tax law.
However, Biden is expected to propose an extension to 2025 this week rather than making the changes permanent.
Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass. And chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee
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It would be part of a wider investment in so-called "human capital" that is playing out in a national debate on infrastructure spending.
"In order for our economy to fully recover from this pandemic, we must finally recognize that workers have families and that the responsibility for caring for them is real," Neal said.
Neal's bill would also provide universally paid family and sick leave, guarantee access to childcare, and maintain recent changes to other tax breaks such as earned income and credits for children and dependent care.
Changes to Child Tax Credit
The American rescue plan provides that parents with older children are entitled to the tax credit. The age of the qualified children was raised from 16 to 17 years.
The law also increased the maximum credit to $ 3,000 per child ages 6-17 and $ 3,600 for younger children.
Single adults receive the full value of this larger loan if their annual income is $ 75,000 or less. (The income threshold is $ 112,500 for head of household filers and $ 150,000 for married joint filers.)
Higher earners are generally entitled to the same loan (up to $ 2,000 per child) as under their previous law.
The law also made the loan fully recoverable.
Previously, Americans could get up to $ 1,400 of the balance as a tax refund. Taxpayers were only eligible for a refund if they had earned income of at least $ 2,500. Now there is no upper limit on the amount of reimbursement and the income threshold has been removed – particularly helpful changes for low-paid workers.
The law also instructed the Treasury Department to issue the credit in regular installments, probably monthly – a departure from typical flat-rate refunds once a year at tax time.
Taxpayers can opt out of these regular payments. Americans would get up to $ 300 a month per child if payments started in July as expected.