SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – The expanded child tax credit that passed as part of the American Rescue Plan takes effect Thursday.
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It offers a credit of $300 per child under the age of 6 and $250 for children between the ages of 6 to 17. That means families can receive $3,600 per year and or $3,000 per year per child.
Some of the expanded credit is being offered in monthly payments in 2021, which supporters say will serve needy families in particular.
“Across the country, this will benefit the families of 66 million children and lift 11 million people out of poverty,” says Georgia Rep. Nikema Williams, who is the chairwoman of the Democratic Party of Georgia.
“This will have a real positive impact on working families,” said Williams. “It can mean not having to choose between rent or child care, or not having to choose between gas and groceries.”
You can receive some of the yearly credit in 2021 in the form of monthly payments. Williams says it’s important for lower-income families, who may not have filed taxes recently, to register with the IRS so the federal agency has your address and banking information to send you a check or a direct deposit.
Some families who want a lump sum credit can also opt-out by going to the IRS website.
Shantrice Jones, a single parent with a 6-year-old child appeared on a Zoom press conference Wednesday with Williams.
“This pandemic really brought to light for me how broken our system is and how little support there is for working families,” said Jones. “Personally, I looking forward to the relief and I know many families are as well.”
Another single mom, Courtney Driver, a former Marine, talked about the challenges of working during the pandemic but now trying to figure out what to do about child care.
“For a lot of us, child care is a necessity and it’s expensive,” said Driver. “A lot of child care facilities had to increase costs to keep up with COVID compliance.”
Driver said the monthly tax credit checks will “put food on so many tables across American and it will help families.”
Rep. Williams said there are estimates that the expanded tax credit can benefit 2.2 million Georgia families and 171,000 children.
“That’s 171,000 Georgia children who no longer have to wonder whether there will be good on the table when they get home, or if their lights will stay on,” said Williams. “This is good policy, plain and simple, and we have President Biden and Democrats in Congress to thank for it.”
Williams made a point to say that new Democratic Georgia Sens. Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock were instrumental votes in getting the expanded tax credit passed. She also called out Georgia’s Republican representatives who did not vote for the measure.
WSAV contacted Republican 1st District Congressman Buddy Carter who sent this statement:
I have long supported of the Child Tax Credit, having voted to double the credit and triple the eligibility through the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Unfortunately this new, temporary expansion ignores lessons of the past and only further exposes hardworking taxpayers to billions in waste, fraud, and abuse. It does little to blunt the $1.3 billion robbed from Georgia taxpayers by the Blue State Bailout nor does it help families facing the never-ending stream of tax-hiking, job-killing policies being pumped out by Washington Democrats.