Child Tax Credit: You Could Get a Double Payment in February — Here’s Why

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If the Build Back Better bill actually manages to pass in January, parents could be looking at a doubled Child Tax Credit payment for February.

That’s the good news.

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The bad news? Various news outlets claim that it’s a “near-certainty” there will be no advance CTC payments for January, even if the legislation passes early in the new year. Of course, that’s assuming the revised version of the BBB includes a provision to extend the advanced Child Tax Credit, which White House press secretary Jen Psaki seems optimistic about.

She addressed reporters Friday, Dec. 17 from Air Force One, Bloomberg reported, and said, “If we get it done in January, we’d talk to Treasury officials and others about doing double payments in February as an option. The president wants to see this move forward. It’s a priority for him as soon as Congress returns.”

Related: 7 Build Back Better Line Items That Could Still Benefit Americans If Brought to Congress Individually

If the advance CTC remains in the BBB in its current form, that means parents could receive $600 per child under six in February, and $500 per child between six and 17. In March, the payments would return to the usual monthly amount parents had received for the last six months of 2021.

However, right now, the advance CTC along with many other elements of the BBB hang in the balance. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), whose vote is required for the BBB to pass, is leading a charge that could force his fellow lawmakers to scale down much of the social spending and other provisions in the bill in order to get it to pass.

A study from the Center on Poverty & Social Policy at Columbia University found that November’s advance CTC payment helped keep 3.8 million children out of poverty, with the overall child poverty rate decreasing across the country from 12.8% to 12.2% between October and November.

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For families who are faced with seeing these funds disappear, it’s a smart step to review your budgets now, see where you can scale back spending and even negotiate new payment terms with utility providers or landlords.

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