The first federal Child Tax Credit (CTC) payments under the newly expanded policy will begin to reach millions of U.S. households today, marking a significant moment for low-income families who have struggled to stay afloat amid the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond.
The expansion, which has made the CTC more accessible to a wider pool of families with children aged 17 or younger, will significantly improve their economic wellbeing. The first payments will be sent to more than 39 million families with an estimated 65 million kids, according to the IRS. Throughout this pandemic, more than 7 million Americans have lost their jobs, and according to Census Survey data from mid-June, one-quarter of Americans struggled to pay the previous week’s household expenses.
If the right policies are adopted, our tax system has the power to spur social change and create a more equitable America. The Rockefeller Foundation has been a long-time leader in supporting poverty-fighting policies like the CTC and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Together, these policies have lifted more than 10.6 million Americans out of poverty—more than any other program except Social Security—while providing education and health benefits at every stage of life.
The expansion of the CTC and EITC will help underserved communities across the country. It is critical that these temporary measures become permanent. To help families and individuals access these credits, the Foundation also supports a range of organizations nationwide—including the nonprofit Commonwealth, which recently launched an effort to scale its tax credit access initiative that aims to help families maximize the impact of the CTC payments.