Monthly child tax credit payments begin this week

Published: Jul. 12, 2021 at 5:58 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 12, 2021 at 7:08 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Child tax credit payments begin this week for families across our region. The money was included in the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan.

Not only will parents be getting more in the form of tax refunds, those who qualify will also be getting half the money in advance. It comes at a time when many families are struggling to make ends meet.

“I kind of liked the big lump sum at the end of the year, but I definitely think the monthly payments are definitely going to help,” said Caitlin Flewelling-Caulfield.

The Lebanon mom has two young kids. She says the pandemic has her reaching into her pockets a little bit more these days.

“Getting him into more extracurricular activities for the time he didn’t go into school with the virtual learning and such,” Flewelling-Caulfield said.

Beginning July 15, families like hers will be getting a monthly boost. The Advance Child Tax Credit Payments increases this year’s refund from $2,000 per child to $3,000 or $3,600 depending on the kid’s age. Families who qualify will be paid half that total in monthly installments for the next six months. The other half will be applied as a credit on their income taxes.

Doctors say putting cash in people’s hands now will lead to healthier communities.

“We know the power of benefit of child health and well-being that comes from the spending we’ve heard on early childhood education, good nutrition, addressing the toxic stress of not being able to pay your bills in general,” said Dr. Keith Loud.

Loud is the Director of the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth. He says one out of three families they serve can’t meet their monthly bills. Lawmakers who helped pass the new tax credit, including New Hampshire’s Sen. Maggie Hassan, are working to make the changes permanent.

“And we will continue to push to do that and that would mean you wouldn’t need that year-to-year reauthorization. It would be a permanent change in the tax code. There are a number of proposals out there,” said Sen. Hassan, D-New Hampshire.

As for the current change, parents say every little bit helps.

“Groceries, gas, everything is on the rise so it just helps, it just helps so much more,” Flewelling-Caulfield said.

Hassan says about 200,000 children in the Granite State alone will see increased payments this year.

A little more than 123,000 Vermont children will benefit.

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