TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Starting Thursday, an estimated three million Florida families will begin receiving payments as part of the American Rescue Plan’s Child Tax Credit program, which provides families $250 to $300 per child each month through the end of the year.
Faith leaders, activists and Democratic political figures held a virtual press conference Wednesday to get the word out.
The American Rescue Plan increased the child tax credit from $2,000 per child to $3,000 for children ages six to 17 and to $3,600 for children younger than six.
“This is transformational tax relief to hard-working parents,” said Sean Shaw, who is with People Over Profits.
Families will receive half the money over a period of six months and see the remainder on their 2021 tax return.
To receive full credit, joint income households must make less than $150,000, $112,500 for heads of households and $75,000 for single-parent households.
“For so many working families, it may be insignificant to others, but to them, $250 or $300 a month is extremely important,” said Pastor John Newman from The Sanctuary at Mt. Calvary in Jacksonville.
The stimulus will inject $150 billion into the economy nationwide and pull an estimated 270,000 Florida children out of poverty.
“And what’ll that mean? It’ll mean we’ll cut child poverty, possibly as much as in half,” said U.S. Rep. Darren Soto (D-Kissimmee).
Families can opt out of the monthly payments if they’d rather receive a lump sum credit on their 2021 income taxes.
“Families need to think about whether right now they have the income that is needed to pay for their basic necessities,” said Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, a former Democratic Florida congresswoman.
It’s too late to opt out for the July payments if you haven’t already, but you have until Aug. 2 to opt out for next month’s payment. But once you opt out, you can’t opt back in.
The Biden Administration and Democratic lawmakers are hoping the new child tax credit formula won’t be a one-off occurrence.
The American Families Plan would make the changes permanent.
To learn more about the American Rescue Plan Child Tax Credit visit ChildTaxCredit.gov.