Editorial: Congress can help struggling families by reviving the expanded child tax credit
In an effort to raise revenue, Congress has put off taking up a bill to renew the Child Tax Credit, which has allowed families to qualify for lower tax bills while paying less in federal personal income taxes. In the first year without a tax credit of its kind, the program has already helped 5.7 million families and added 1.3 million new households to the tax rolls. In addition, the program has been the major source of funding for many of President Obama’s initiatives.
In a similar effort to bolster families who struggle with the high cost of child care – the cost of raising children is rising for many families – Congress has also put off its efforts to extend the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit. The credit has played a key role in extending the child tax credit, reducing the burden on working families and creating millions of new tax filers. In fact, the CARES Act would also help families with disabilities or with children who are too young to work or care for them for at least the first two years of their lives.
The credit has also provided assistance to families who struggle with the costs of day care. It helps families pay for a child or youth to attend pre-school for at least 24 hours each day and help their families to provide care for a child or youth at a private or public setting. The credit may also help families who have a member with a disability or who are caring for children who are too young to live on their own or care for them.
The Child Tax Credit is a critical part of comprehensive tax reform, offering working or low-wage families help to provide a better life for their children. The bill currently before the Senate could help to rebuild communities and strengthen families in states recovering from the recession.
The Child Tax Credit, which is available to any qualifying child or non-qualifying individual, is equal to $1,000 per qualifying child or qualifying individual. For taxpayers who would like help paying the cost of raising children, the Child Tax Credit can help families keep them