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Child Tax Credit Could Bring Thousands of NH Kids Out of Poverty


Thursday, July 22, 2021   

MANCHESTER, N.H. - Parents are now receiving fully refundable monthly 2021 Advance Child Tax Credit payments, and advocates for children and families are urging Congress to make them permanent.

More than a quarter of New Hampshire families reported difficulty paying for usual household expenses in the last week.

Carrie Martin Duran is a Manchester single mom of three, and one of her daughters has Down syndrome.

She said in past years, waiting for a tax refund meant waiting to get repairs for her car or new clothes for her girls. She said distributing the credit as a monthly payment will allow families like hers to budget better.

She said she plans to use her August payment for back-to-school expenses.

"I can't even tell you how that makes me feel," said Duran. "That this is one school year, I'm not going to have to stress and worry that they've got their new shoes, a new backpack and all of that stuff. That's always been a very stressful, awful time for me as a parent on a financial level."

For households that are eligible based on 2019 or 2020 tax returns, the payments should come automatically - but those who haven't filed tax returns should either do so or use the IRS non-filer tool to access their payments.

Census Bureau surveys find that nationally, more Black and Latino families are struggling to pay household expenses than white families.

Duran added that programs such as the Tax Credit that put money directly into people's hands are important because they give autonomy for families to decide what needs are the most pressing for them.

"We know there's other resources if you go to the school and you say, hey, I can't afford to buy my children a calculator," said Duran. "But there are a lot of families that are so overwhelmed and they can't think to do that. It's also very humbling to reach out and ask for help."

Christina D'Allesandro, New Hampshire campaign director with MomsRising Together and MomsRising Education Fund, noted that 40% of Americans don't have $400 in reserve.

She said she wants families to know that they have the choice to receive monthly payments, or opt to wait and receive it as a lump sum in April.

"We want to make sure, like any sort of benefit, that everyone knows they are absolutely entitled to it," said D'Allesandro. "That they understand the process through which to access the credit, so that it can have the biggest impact for the most families."

If made permanent, experts say the credit could reduce child poverty by more than 40% in the U.S. Eight thousand New Hampshire kids could be lifted out of poverty.

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