CHN Supports the Child Tax Credit Improvements in the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act of 2024
Editor’s note: Deborah Weinstein, Executive Director, on behalf of the Coalition on Human Needs, issued this statement on Wednesday, January 24, 2024:
The Coalition on Human Needs supports the improvements made to the Child Tax Credit (CTC) within the bipartisan H.R. 7024, the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act of 2024. We urge members of Congress to actively support moving the bipartisan tax package at the first opportunity so it can take effect this tax season, and vote for this legislation.
This bill would increase the CTC for 80 percent of the families with low incomes who do not now receive the full credit now. It would lift 400,000 children out of poverty in tax year 2023, rising to 500,000 above the poverty line in 2025. Yes, these improvements do not go as far as they should. The faith groups, human service providers, civil rights, labor, policy experts and other national advocacy organizations that make up the Coalition on Human Needs pledge to continue to advocate to expand the CTC further to help the poorest children. But this bill, offering much needed income to about 16 million children in families struggling to meet basic needs, is a very important step that Congress must take.
It is certainly our view that a mother with two children earning $15,000 a year should get as much help from the Child Tax Credit as a similar family earning $300,000 a year. Under current law, the family with $15,000 in earnings receives only $1,875, while the higher income family receives $4,000. In tax year 2023, the first year of the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act, the $15,000-earning family would see their CTC rise to $3,600. By 2025, their benefit would equal that of the wealthier family.
Families need this help now. As recently as this past October, more than one in three people with children in households earning less than $25,000 said they sometimes or often did not have enough to eat in the previous week. Similar hardship was also true of more than one in five Latino adults with children and of more than one in four Black adults with children. During the same period, more than one in five people with children said they had been unable to pay their home energy bill at least once in the past 12 months. The extra money the expanded CTC will provide will make a real difference in families’ ability to pay for their basic needs, and that will mean healthier children with fewer school absences and more school progress.
More than one in five children under the age of 17 will benefit in the first year of this legislation. More than one in three Black and Latino children and three in ten American Indian/Alaska Native children benefit from the bill, because their parents are more likely to be in low-paid jobs.
Congress must not turn away from the opportunity to help this huge proportion of America’s children and their families. Congress must act now, so that families can gain the benefit for the 2023 tax year.