Nevada families have withdrawn $ 750 million from the child tax credit so far this year

by Jeniffer Solis, Nevada Current
November 30, 2021

Nevada families have received more than $ 750 million in expanded direct child tax credit payments since the program began in July.

More than 595,000 Nevada children received the credits in November, according to published data by the US Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service.

In Nevada, $ 155 million was distributed to 353,000 qualified families, representing 595,000 eligible children this month. This follows the $ 153 million distributed to families in Nevada in October.

The average November child tax credit payment received per qualifying family was $ 441 in Nevada, according to the IRS. Slightly more than the national average payment of $ 435.

On Monday, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo joined Representative Steven Horsford in Las Vegas to meet with congressional voters and discuss the value of the expanded Nevada Child Tax Credit, calling the policy “a key tax cut for middle class families with children. “

Horsford said to expand the child tax credit through the Build Back Better bill, the House Democrats’ social spending legislation passed earlier this month, is essential to permanently reducing child poverty in Nevada.

According to the Horsford office, in Nevada’s Fourth Congressional District, 97% of households benefited from the Child Tax Credit which lifted about 9,700 children out of poverty.

“This tax break has had a positive impact on the lives of working families who were able to use it to cover the cost of food, childcare and other household needs,” said Adeyemo. “It is so important to extend the relief until 2022 and make it definitely fully refundable through the Build Back Better Act.”

The expanded child tax credit is set to expire in December in the absence of an extension to the program.

The Biden administration initially offered to continue expanding the child tax credit until 2025 as part of the social spending plan, but this was curtailed during negotiations. The bill finally passed by the House would extend the program for one year, until December 2022. The fate of the bill is uncertain in the Senate.

The US bailout temporarily increased the child tax credit to $ 3,000 – $ 3,600 per child for the 2021 tax year, with half of the credit being advanced through monthly payments. No Republican in either the House or Senate voted for the bill.

“Just as big business and billionaires get tax cuts in the federal tax code, Democrats in Congress have decided that we are going to give a tax cut to families, not the very rich.”

“We have proposed a net one-year extension of this child tax credit. I wanted it to be longer. We will continue to work to lengthen it, ”said Horsford. “This will remain a top priority for us.”

“Nevada has been disproportionately affected by this pandemic,” Horsford said, highlighting the economic impact of the child tax credit in the state. “We still have the highest unemployment rate in the country. “

Families in Nevada’s Fourth Congressional District have benefited the most from the state’s extensive child tax credits. About 167,000 skilled children in the district received nearly $ 44 million in total payments, according to estimates by the Joint Economic Committee of Congress.

In the weeks after the first payment, data from the Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey showed that more than half of middle-income families were spending their child tax credit payments on food, 26 % in clothing and 23% in school-related and after-school costs.

Columbia Center on Poverty and Social Policy researchers find that upfront payments were associated with a 25% decrease in food insufficiency among low-income families with children.

A recent national survey conducted by researchers at the Social Policy Institute find that 42% of parents planned to save at least part of the payment in a college fund for their child and 24% planned to use their child tax credit payments for child care expenses.

Adeyemo said the Biden administration was working to make the monthly payment aspect of the child tax credit permanent.

The US bailout also made the child tax credit fully refundable, meaning previously ineligible low-income families can now take advantage of it, which Adeyemo called “critical” to getting children out of the way. poverty.

Democrats, however, need to rethink messages regarding the child tax credit, Horsford said. Opponents of the child tax credit have tried to test the policy by calling it right, he said, adding that Democrats need to do a better job of defining the policy as a “tax cut for children. families with children “.

“Just as big business and billionaires get tax cuts in the federal tax code, Democrats in Congress have decided that we are going to give a tax cut to families, not the very rich,” Horsford said.

Advocates argue that educating low-income families is essential for Nevada families to reap the full benefits of the Child Tax Credit.

Pat Smith, program director for Nevada Free Taxes Coalition, a nonprofit that offers free tax preparation, said millions of dollars are likely left on the table by families who have not filed. declaration.

“These are people who are at TANF or SNAP, they are social security grandparents who have taken in grandchildren, people who do not need to declare. It is essential that we get the word out to these people.

Other advocates have described how the child tax credit has benefited them personally. Frankie Perez, who became a foster parent of five during the pandemic, said the cost of raising children has only increased but attributed his financial stability to the child tax credit.

“It’s been a blessing,” Perez said.

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