June 21, 2021

More Than 3.8 Million Florida Children Eligible to Receive First Monthly Child Tax Credit Payment in July

This post was last updated on December 8, 2021. As new policies are announced, FPI will update this page.

As Florida’s response to COVID-19 takes front and center, concern grows for low-income families who struggle to take precautions against the spread of the virus. Although Congress has passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to address, at least in part,  the public health crisis and economic fallout from COVID-19, many barriers continue to keep struggling families from accessing the assistance they need during the pandemic. As Florida initiates policies implementing the Act and addressing other barriers to the safety net, FPI will update this form. When available, hyperlinks are provided to agency documents or statements that provide greater detail  about the new policy.

On March 22, 2020, FPI and 44 other organizations sent a letter to Governor DeSantis, leadership in the Legislature and agency heads to urge action on 47 specific policy changes to reduce unnecessary barriers for Florida’s safety net programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. See the letter here.

Families can now sign up via new web portal and manage automatic monthly payments

ORLANDO, Fla. -- In celebration of “Child Tax Credit Awareness Day,” Florida Policy Institute (FPI) today touted recent improvements to the Child Tax Credit included in the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and pointed to a recent analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) showing that such improvements could reduce child poverty by 40 percent.

More than nine in 10 children in Florida — over 3.8 million — live in households that could receive their first payments next month, according to CBPP.

The CTC provides much-needed relief to families with low incomes, boosting opportunity and improving long-term prospects for tens of millions of children. As part of ARPA, Congress increased the amount of the credit for 2021 from $2,000 to $3,600 per child under 6 years old and to $3,000 for children ages 6 to 17.

An estimated 65.6 million American children will benefit from improvements to the CTC, including roughly half of all Black and Latino children, whose families (along with other families of color) are disproportionately employed in low-wage jobs because of historic and ongoing discriminatory policies and practices.

This year, for the first time ever, families with children can receive up to half their CTC as advance payments, rather than as one lump sum when they file their taxes. This will provide much-needed assistance to families sooner, so they can make ends meet month to month.

Additionally, the Biden Administration recently announced the rollout of two web portals that families can use to sign up for and manage their CTC advance payments. Families who have already filed 2019 or 2020 taxes or who signed up for stimulus payments will automatically receive advance payments in July. Families who have not yet filed or aren’t typically required to file taxes because their incomes are too low will be able to sign up through a new online portal available at: https://www.irs.gov/credits-deductions/child-tax-credit-non-filer-sign-up-tool.

“These much-needed CTC improvements will help families struggling to make ends meet in the wake of the pandemic and recession and foster a more equitable recovery,” said Sadaf Knight, CEO of FPI. “We urge Florida families across the state to claim this credit.”

Programs such as the CTC that lift children out of poverty are linked with improved prospects for those children, including improved health outcomes, higher math and reading scores, less use of drugs and alcohol, and higher rates of college entry. However, to fully achieve those long-term benefits, Congress must make permanent ARPA’s temporary improvements to CTC. President Biden has proposed extending the improvements as part of the American Families Plan, which Congress is considering as it develops economic recovery legislation later this year.

“It’s crucial that Congress make this year’s CTC expansion permanent to bolster economic stability for families,” added Knight.

For more information on the Child Tax Credit, Floridians can visit childtaxcredit.gov.

FPI is an independent, nonpartisan and nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing state policies and budgets that improve the economic mobility and quality of life for all Floridians.

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