Payments of the child tax credit for families with young children ended in December but Connecticut officials hope congress will continue debating them.
Those advanced monthly payments made a big difference to families who found themselves struggling. But lawmakers say it’s difficult to get anything through congress at this point.
“I think the outcry you’re going to hear from people who when they checked their bank accounts this January they found out on average they were about $400 fewer for a tax credit that had been enormously successful,” U.S. Rep. John B. Larson says.
Larson says congress is working to pass legislation to continue the increase in the child tax credit.
“The child tax credit has gone a long way to solving major problems,” Larson says.
Larson says the expansion of the tax credit helped the families of 583,000 children.
“Families spent 56 percent of their child tax credit on food and utilities or on rent,” Queen Freelove says.
Freelove, a child care provider, says the payments were crucial for many families.
“We all know that raising children is the most challenging and rewarding experience but we all know when families struggle to make ends meet it greatly affects the future of our children,” Freelove says.
“A budget for food or for rent or for health care or for a warm winter coat or for school supplies doesn't get paid annually, it gets paid daily, weekly, monthly,” Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin says.
Bronin says it’s helped children in Hartford.
“This tax credit is vital. But this tax credit isn’t just about poverty, it’s also about making it a little easier to get folks get into the middle class to make ends meet,” Bronin says.
Larson remained optimistic about the future of the expanded tax credit.
“I think there will be a continued push to make sure this vote takes place and a lot of that will depend on what happens this week in the Senate,” Larson says.
Two U.S. Senators have said they are opposed to changing the filibuster rules leaving the child tax credit in limbo.
Meanwhile, an accountant says organization will be key to claiming the remainder of the credit.
Corey Veneziano, a principal at CLA, says some families received part of that tax credit between July and December.
“The IRA sent out payments starting in summer this year for the advanced child tax credit, so you need to reconcile the amounts you received during the year because when you go file your tax return you’re going to claim your credit, but you’re also going to claim the payments you already received,” Veneziano says.
“You gotta get prepared and really be ready this tax season. The IRS is short staffed, CPAs are short staffed. Everybody’s been impacted by the pandemic,” Veneziano says.