Families with children under 18 living at home may be eligible for monthly relief of up to $300 per child until the end of 2025 if a rumored proposal from the Biden administration gets through Congress.
As reported by The Washington Post (opens in new tab) and The New York Times (opens in new tab), the American Families Plan is expected to extend the expanded child-tax credit provided by the administration's $1.9 trillion stimulus package through December 2025. This could give parents and legal guardians a total of up to $16,200 per child.
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The current payments to parents, which are expected to begin in July, will last only through the end of this year.
For the year 2021, the total annual child tax credit for most parents increases from $2,000 per child per year to $3,000 for children ages 6–17, and $3,600 for those under age 6. As it stands now, all parents and guardians who qualified for stimulus check 3 will receive half of this year's child tax credit as a direct payment.
Are you eligible for child tax credits?
If you earned $75,000 or less in 2020 (or up to $150,000 for couples filing jointly), you'll get $300 for each child under age 6, and $250 for each child ages 6 through 17, every month from July through December 2021.
The amounts phase out slowly for those earning up to $95,000 and $170,000, respectively. Here's a child-tax-credit calculator (opens in new tab) to see how much you might get.
Single filers who earn between $95,001 and $200,000, and joint filers whose income is between $170,001 and $400,000, are still eligible for the previous child tax credit of $2,000 for each child under age 17 (but not under age 18). The credit then decreases by $50 for each $1,000 in income above the thresholds.
If Biden's new plan moves forward, you could receive those child-tax-credit checks for nearly four years. The Census Bureau estimates that in 2020, there were more than 63 million parents (opens in new tab) with children under 18 living at home.
Will the extended child tax credits happen?
Some Democratic lawmakers, including Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) and Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-Connecticut) and Suzan DelBene (D-Washington), have pushed to make the expanded child tax credit permanent.
"Expansion of the child tax credit is the most significant policy to come out of Washington in generations, and Congress has an historic opportunity to provide a lifeline to the middle class and to cut child poverty in half on a permanent basis," those lawmakers wrote in a statement this week (opens in new tab).
But even Biden's proposed child-tax-credit extension could face long odds in the Senate, where just one moderate Democrat can hold up bills.
More broadly, the American Families Plan includes universal Pre-K, free community college, child care subsidies and paid parental leave. It would cost an estimated $1 trillion and would be paid for in part by tax increases on wealthy Americans — something that Republicans in both the House and Senate would almost certainly oppose.