CO Families Already Benefiting from Advance Child Tax Credit Payments
Thursday, July 22, 2021
DENVER -- Parents are now receiving fully refundable monthly 2021 Advance Child Tax Credit payments, and advocates for children and families have urged Congress to make them permanent.
Between 20% and a quarter of Colorado households report struggling to pay usual household expenses.
Holly Baumkratz, a parent in Boulder with two children, said monthly payments, at $250 for each child per month, are a game-changer. Both she and her husband work, but she explained they cannot afford health insurance for their kids at $1,700 a month, which is out of budget for their family.
"The $500 this month is actually going to take them to the dentist, get a good cleaning, get x-rays done, and then the future $500 will go for maintenance," Baumkratz outlined. "So for us, it's kind of life-changing."
Baumkratz added preventive medical and dental care is a necessity, and she thinks it is a sign there is something wrong with our economy if it takes an extra $500 stipend just to fulfill basic needs. Census Bureau surveys find that, nationally, more Black and Latino families are struggling to pay household expenses than are white families.
Sarah Barnes, manager of special policy initiatives for the Colorado Children's Campaign, noted changes to the Child Tax Credit could reduce child poverty nationwide by nearly half, and should be made permanent.
"That money helps families with things like paying for housing and food and clothing and other necessities like that," Barnes observed. "It also can help families pay for child care, summer camp, those sorts of things for their kids."
Barnes added research shows an additional $3,000 annually for families can lead to more positive outcomes for kids down the road, from increased earnings and hours worked as adults to more educational achievement.
For households who are eligible based on 2019 or 2020 tax returns, the payments should come automatically, but those who have not filed tax returns should either do so or use the IRS non-filer tool to access their payments.
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