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Six reasons why an expanded Child Tax Credit or child allowance should be part of the US safety net (Melissa S. Kearney, Brookings)

The Child Tax Credit has been part of the federal income tax code since 1997. It has been expanded many times, most recently as part of the American Rescue Plan. Under this plan, for the year 2021, the maximum Child Tax Credit amount is increased from $2,000 per child to $3,600 for children below the age of 6 and to $3,000 for children under age 18.  This credit amount is phased out at high levels of income in two steps. The increased credit is phased down to the previous credit amount starting at income of $112,500 for single parents and $150,000 for married parents; that reduced amount is then phased out completely, beginning at income of $200,000 for single parents and $400,000 for married parents. In addition to the increased credit amount and expanded range of qualifying income up the income distribution, for 2021, the credit is fully refundable. This means that parents receive the full credit amount, regardless of the amount of taxes they owe. This has the effect of extending the credit to families with no taxable income. These changes result in a child benefit, administered through the tax code, that is nearly universal and unconditional on parental work status.

Six reasons why an expanded Child Tax Credit or child allowance should be part of the US safety net (brookings.edu)