A new child tax credit could benefit hundreds of thousands of kids in Kansas according to a new report from one of the state’s Washington lawmakers, but taxpayers need to file on time so they can receive their payments.

The American Rescue Plan, which lawmakers passed in March, boosted the maximum child tax credit, expanded eligibility and implemented advance monthly payments for qualifying families.

Kansas’ Democratic Rep. Sharice Davids helped spearhead the expansion. She said it’s crucial relief and could benefit a total of 617,900 kids in Kansas. According to Davids, 21,700 kids in Kansas could be lifted out of poverty due to the new payments.

The American Rescue Plan expanded the child tax credit to up to $3,600 per child for children ages 0-5 and $3,000 per child for children ages 6-17. Under previous law, the amount was up to $2,000 per qualifying child under the age of 17.

“As someone who was raised by a single mom, we didn’t have a lot when I was growing up.” Davids said. “When I think about the different that monthly amount would have made in our lives, it’s pretty staggering.”

In addition, the American Rescue Plan authorized advance monthly payments of the child tax credit through December 2021, beginning in July. The payments will be up to $300 a month for children under 5 and up to $250 a month for children 6-17 in monthly installments. Families will get their remaining credit when they file their 2021 tax returns next spring.

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Families will qualify for a full credit if their income is:

  • Below $75,000 for single filers
  • Below $112,000 for people filing as head of household
  • Below $150,000 for people who are married and filing jointly.

Beyond those incomes, the tax credit starts to phase out. The maximum value of the tax credit reduces by $50 for every $1,000 in income above the adjusted gross income limit above.

The expanded child tax credit is a huge relief for many parents.

“Right around the time we had her, a tree fell on our garage. Both of our cars died. We really turned to the stimulus as our safety net,” said Crystal Henry, KC metro mother of two.

Henry said the credit will help pay for unexpected expenses and childcare that consumes 20% of her and her husband’s income.

“When I first found out about this child tax credit, at first I didn’t believe that it was actually happening,” Henry said. “We are really going to get that extra support that helps stabilize our family.”

On average, families will receive $5,000 spread out over monthly installments. Kids are eligible if they are children, adopted children, stepchildren, half-siblings, foster children, grandchildren, nieces or nephews or certain other relatives.

Eligible families need to file taxes by the deadline, which is coming up fast — May 17 — to ensure to that they receive the child tax credit benefit starting this summer.

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