On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan (ARP), a $1.9 trillion package to deliver much-needed aid to Americans struggling from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Act includes more than $31 billion in direct funding to federally recognized tribal governments to help address the disparate impacts of the virus on Indian country.
This alert and the attachments highlight opportunities for Native families pursuant to the ARP’s Child Tax Credit (CTC). The CTC will award up to $300 a month per qualifying household for each child under 6 years old and up to $250 a month for each child between the ages of 6 – 17. Individuals and families will receive the Child Tax Credit beginning in July of 2021 through December 2021 in the form of monthly payments.
An individual or family who filed federal income taxes for either 2019 or 2020 is automatically eligible for this benefit. No action is required, and they will receive the CTC automatically. They will also receive the CTC automatically if they signed up to receive an American Rescue Plan stimulus check with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
However, tribal citizens/families who have not filed taxes over the past two years are still eligible to receive this credit. Low-income families with children are eligible for this crucial tax relief – including those who have not made enough money to be required to file taxes. If a couple makes under $24,800, a head of household makes under $18,650, or a single filer makes under $12,400, and they have not filed their taxes, please urge them to sign up for the Child Tax Credit at ChildTaxCredit.gov and click on the sign-up link. They will need to submit social security numbers for themselves and their dependent children, their mailing address, and an e-mail address. Applying for this program will not impact any other federal benefits you may be receiving. Attached is information from the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs for your reference.
Again, the new Child Tax Credit enacted in the American Rescue Plan is only for 2021. President Biden is urging Congress to extend the new Child Tax Credit permanently through passage of his proposed American Families Plan.
We respectfully urge you to consider circulating this information with all tribal citizens to ensure that they are aware of this important funding opportunity to help Native families offset the economic impacts of the pandemic.