RI lawmakers advocate for extension of expanded Child Tax Credit payments

Politics

CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — With hundreds of thousands of Rhode Island families benefitting from the expanded Child Tax Credit program, the state’s congressional delegation is pushing for it to be included in pending legislation.

The American Rescue Plan, which was signed into law by President Joe Biden back in March, increased the Child Tax Credit to $3,600 per child under 6 years old and $3,000 per child between the ages of 6 and 17 for the remainder of 2021.

The advanced Child Tax Credit program has already benefitted approximately 173,000 children, with the state disbursing more than $200 million.

“The pandemic has been tough on parents and this new tax cut for families has delivered much needed relief to help them afford the necessities of life – food, shelter, medicine, clothes, child care, and other expenses,” Sen. Jack Reed said during a media briefing in Cranston Monday.

“This extra money may not be a lot to some, but it makes a world of difference to working families,” he continued. “We want every eligible Rhode Islander to benefit from this boosted tax break and will continue working to make it permanent so that we can build a stronger middle class and broad, sustainable economic prosperity.”

The expanded Child Tax Credit program is projected to cut child poverty in half and reduce overall poverty by a third nationwide.

Cranston resident Celia Hernandez said the expanded Child Tax Credit program saved her family.

“Every time it did come in, it came in at a time that I really needed it, I was low on funds,” she explained.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse said the expanded Child Tax Credit program will help children in the long run.

“An entire generation of Rhode Island children is off to a stronger start thanks to our expansion of the Child Tax Credit,” Whitehouse said. “This program represents a fundamental shift in the level of support available to help families get into the middle class and stay there.”

The final payments for 2021 will be disbursed in December, and the rest of the credit will be included in tax refunds during the spring filing season.

The Rhode Island congressional delegation is advocating the expanded benefits be extended through the Build Back Better Act.

“Unlike the tax cuts passed by the previous administration, the expanded Child Tax Credit will benefit millions of working families, not just large corporations and the wealthiest Americans,” Rep. Jim Langevin said. “As we emerge from this pandemic, we must build back better by extending these middle-class tax cuts for years to come.”

Low-income families that typically don’t file income taxes have until 11:59 p.m. Monday to file for the 2021 monthly Child Tax Credit payments.

Those who apply will receive half of their total Child Tax Credit payment, meaning they will receive a payment of $1,800 pe child under the age of 6 and up to $1,500 per child between the ages of 6 and 17.

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