How does the Expanded Child Tax Credit for College Age Dependents Work?


The expanded child tax credit was passed as part of the American Rescue Plan Act earlier this year and authorized a series of payments for American families with children. The first payments were made in July, more followed in August and September, with three more payments to be made this year.

The expanded tax credit, according to some studies, has already succeeded in lifting large numbers of Americans out of poverty. Columbia University’s Center on Poverty and Social Policy found that the first payment, in July, saved six million children out of poverty that month.

The credit applies to families with children under the age of six, who will receive $ 3,600 per child, while for children between the ages of six and seventeen, they will receive $ 3,000 per child. As for those with college age dependents? They will have it too, but not as many.

According to BGR’s description of how it works, “If you have a 17-year-old who turns 18 by December 31, your household is not eligible for the monthly child tax credit. It’s because these monthly payments this year, remember, are just one advance on full credit. That rest of the credit will come next year, in 2022 – when your child is now 18. The thought of Congress was that making people wait for full credit in 2022 would be onerous as the pandemic continues to wreak havoc this year.

Further expansion of the child tax credit likely hinges on the outcome of ongoing negotiations over the Democrats’ proposed $ 3.5 trillion spending package, who have proposed extending the credit by several years.

Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), whose vote is apparently required for any version of the reconciliation package to pass, expressed skepticism about the $ 3.5 trillion price tag and the idea of ​​direct payments without specific job requirement.

“There is no work requirement whatsoever,” Manchin said in a CNN interviewer earlier this month of the child tax credit. “There is no requirement for education, for better skills… don’t you think that if we want to help children, people should make an effort? “

Another Senate Democrat, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, recently argued New Republic for a credit extension, which he had called for even before the pandemic.

“There are two things that I really love about this child tax credit,” Brown told the New Republic. “One, it’s predictable, it comes every month. And second, we trust families to make the decision [of] how they’re going to spend the money… there’s no question that congressional commitment to seniors – social security and medicare – has been a life-transforming american. We haven’t made the same commitment for the kids so far, ”said Brown. “And it will be transformational in the way Social Security and Medicare [were]. “

The next child tax credit payment is scheduled for April 15.

Stephen Silver, Technology Writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist, and film critic who also contributes to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Revue de rue and splice today. Co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in the suburbs of Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.

Image: Reuters


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