Congress failed to extend the expanded Child Tax Credit, which cut childhood poverty by nearly a third. Now, states are adopting their own versions.

By Kalena Thomhave, The Progressive Magazine
Aug. 16, 2022

For Sasha Foster, a mother of two in Connecticut, the federal expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC) was particularly welcome last year. Foster was pregnant in 2020, “so to be able to have a little relief the following year helped,” she says—especially because she wasn’t working full time after her daughter was born. She and her husband could worry less about paying for “the normal necessities of living,” such as laundry detergent and gasoline. This summer, Foster’s son, who is about to enter the first grade, is looking forward to camp.

The American Rescue Plan Act, passed in 2021, made changes to the CTC that allowed most families across the country to receive a tax credit of up to $3,600 per child. The credit was fully refundable, meaning that families would benefit even if they didn’t owe any taxes. It was also available to low-income parents and guardians regardless of income level—there was no minimum income threshold before benefits kicked in. For most, half of the benefit was delivered in advance over the six months from July to December 2021, and the rest was provided as a lump sum during tax season this past spring.

Read more at The Progressive Magazine