The Biden administration is launching an awareness campaign to get millions of families to file their taxes — so they can receive the second half of the expanded child tax credit payments.
Vice President Kamala Harris, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and White House senior adviser Gene Sperling are hosting a virtual event on Tuesday to encourage people to send their tax forms to the IRS, including those whose incomes are so weak that they might not have filed traditionally.
Several lawmakers and nonprofits are participating in the event, and there are plans to hold events in all 50 states and Puerto Rico during tax filing season, according to a White House official who insisted on anonymity to discuss future plans.
As part of the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, President Joe Biden has increased child tax credits to $3,600 a year for each child age 5 or younger and $3,000 dollars for those aged 6 to 17. The government has started sending the payments on a monthly basis. basis from last July, meaning there are six months of payments waiting to be claimed by taxfilers.
The payments would come at a time when families are coping with higher prices for food, gasoline and other goods compared to a year ago. Administration officials estimate that $193 billion would go to 58 million eligible households that file taxes, meaning families would receive credits on their taxes or refunds of an average of $3,330 through this arrangement.
Childless workers could also get extra help this tax season if they file. The relief package nearly tripled the earned income tax credit for workers without dependent children, meaning 17 million people could receive credits worth $1,500.
The expansion of child tax credits was seen as reducing child poverty to its lowest level on record. A recent analysis by researchers at Washington University in St. Louis and Appalachian State University found no evidence that monthly payments caused parents to stop working, which was one of the criticism from opponents of expanded credit.
Biden has pushed to continue expanding the child tax for another year as part of his “Build Back Better” agenda. But in an equally divided Senate, West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin opposed expanding credit, fearing its price would increase the deficit and worsen inflation.