[OPINION] Think of the possibilities: America is investing in the future of our children with extended child tax credit amid pandemic

Photo courtesy of childtaxcredit.gov

DID you already check your bank account? Did you see up to $300 a month for each child under age 6 and up to $250 a month for each one ages 6 to 17 with a note “CHILD CTC”?

If you file taxes electronically should have already seen these payments in your bank account, while those who haven’t provided their direct deposit information should expect checks in “several days,” President Joe Biden announced in a televised speech from the White House on Thursday, July 15.

This is the expanded child tax credit, an enhancement of the provision of the Biden administration’s COVID-19 relief package called the American Rescuer Plan that Congress passed last March. The President said this is aimed at reducing child poverty that he believes could change the lives of working-class families, and this includes us, Filipinos in America.

“To give you a sense of how transformative this is: This would be the largest ever one-year decrease in child poverty in the history of the United States of America. Historic reduction in child poverty among white, Black and Latinos and AAPI (Asian American Pacific Islander) communities,” the president said.

The pandemic has disproportionately affected the lives of people of color and their families, including us, especially because of the fact that many of our kababayans are working on the frontlines.

What have you been praying about that you want to give your children but cannot because of the difficulties of life exacerbated by the pandemic? This tax credit will help you give that to your children, and a lot more help will be coming to give the next generation a better and brighter future — our American dream realized.

Families will receive a total of $3,600 for each child under age 6 and $3,000 for each one ages 6 to 17 for 2021. Half will be paid in monthly installments between now and December, and the rest will come next spring, around Tax Day, President Biden said in his speech.

“This can make it possible for a hardworking parent to say to his or her child: ‘Honey, we get, you can get your new braces now. We can get you a tutor to help you in the math class you’re having trouble with. We can get you the sports equipment you need to sign up for your first team you’re going to play on,'” Biden said.

You and your children could be part of “the vast majority of families — roughly 39 million households, covering 88% of children — who will get the credit automatically because they filed 2019 or 2020 returns claiming the credit”.

Who qualifies for this? As reported by CNN:

“The full enhanced credit will be available for heads of households earning $112,500 and joint filers making up to $150,000 a year, after which it begins to phase out.

For many families, the credit then plateaus at $2,000 per child and starts to phase out for single parents earning more than $200,000 or married couples with incomes above $400,000.”

According to President Biden, “the enhancement Congress passed as part of the American Rescue Plan in March makes the credit fully refundable so that more than 26 million low-income families who didn’t qualify for the full credit previously can now get it.”

“Low-income families that haven’t filed tax returns recently or used the non-filer tool last year to get their stimulus checks can use an IRS portal to register to receive the enhanced child tax credit. The sign-up tool allows users to provide the necessary information about their households and, if they choose, their bank accounts so the agency can directly deposit the funds, ” CNN reported.

“The benefits will be felt for years,” President Biden said. And while this extended tax credit is only in effect for 2021, President Biden is pushing for this help to be extended up to next year.

“We shouldn’t let child poverty continue to stay in the conscience or drag down our economy,” he said. “And so I say to my colleagues in Congress, this tax cut for working families is something we should extend, not end, next year.”

Think of the possibilities. Think of how far your child can go with this help.

”For the first time in our nation’s history, American working families are receiving monthly tax relief payments to help pay for essentials like doctor’s visits, school supplies, and groceries,” the CNN report quoted Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s statement Wednesday evening.

“This major middle-class tax relief and step in reducing child poverty is a remarkable economic victory for America—and also a moral one,” Yellen’s statement added.

The United States of America sure is back to fulfilling its promise stolen by greed for power and money by those who used and abused their positions of public trust to cater primarily to their personal political interests and those of the wealthy and the powerful, generously giving the richest corporations, millionaires and billionaires corporate handouts and welfare. Ordinary hardworking Americans and their families have long been marginalized and forgotten.

The moral compass of our government has once again pointed to the direction of our true north—giving the power back to us, by investing in us – We, The People.

Go online: childtaxcredit.gov, a White House site, for more information.

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The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the Asian Journal, its management, editorial board and staff.

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Gel Santos Relos has been in news, talk, public service and educational broadcasting since 1989 with ABS-CBN and is now serving the Filipino audience using different platforms, including digital broadcasting, and print, and is working on a new public service program for the community. You may contact her through email at gelrelos@icloud.com, or send her a message via Facebook at Facebook.com/Gel.Santos.Relos.

Gel Santos Relos

Gel Santos Relos is the anchor of TFC’s “Balitang America.” Views and opinions expressed by the author in this column are solely those of the author and not of Asian Journal and ABS-CBN-TFC. For comments, go to www.TheFil-AmPerspective.com and www.facebook.com/Gel.Santos.Relos

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