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$3,000/$3,600 child tax credit: are 17- and 18-year-old children included?

President Biden's new stimulus package proposal, known as the American Rescue Plan, would provide greater financial support for low-income familes.

President Biden's new stimulus package proposal, called the American Rescue Plan, would provide greater financial support for low-income familes.
Alex WongGetty Images

The financial support given to families as part of the child tax credit programme could be increased for a full 12 months as part of a push to help those most affected by the pandemic. President Joe Biden has pledged to offer greater support to those suffering financially and the proposal is part of a $1.9 trillion covid-19 stimulus package announced earlier this month.

This temporary increase would see parents given up to $3,600-a-year for each eligible child dependent, a sizeable increase on the $2,000 currently offered. But that amount is not fixed and the level of support you receive is dependent on a few factors.

What ages are included in the new child tax credit proposal?

As was the case with the existing policy, child tax credits will be available for children aged 17 and under. However the new proposal would see $3,600 given for children aged under 6, and $3,000 for those aged between 6 and 17. The Biden administration hope that this move will ease the financial burden on low-income families at a time when unemployment remains dangerously high.

The new plan would make the child tax credit fully refundable for a year; it is currently only partially refundable. Because it is issued as a tax credit, the poorest families who pay little or no tax are not able to receive the full amount in the current system.

Data provided by the Biden administration shows that 27 million children are currently in that situation and are not given the full value because their family does not earn enough money. A factsheet included in the American Rescue Plan, the name for Biden’s stimulus bill proposal, said that “this measure would give these children and their families additional needed resources.”

Who is eligible for Biden’s child tax credit plan?

Although full details have not been announced, it is thought that the basic qualifying criteria will stay the same. Individuals earning less than $200,000 a year, or $400,000 in the case of a couple who file jointly, will be eligible for the full amount. If your yearly income exceeds these thresholds your child tax credit amount will be reduced by 5% for every $1,000 you earn above that threshold.

There are also other criteria that must be satisfied before the child can be claimed as a dependent and receive the child tax credit:

- They must have a valid Social Security number

- They must be a citizen of the United State, a US national or a resident alien

- The child may not contribute more than half of their own support

- They must live with the taxpayer claiming them as dependent

- The child has to be a relative (including foster child, adopted child and step or half sibling)

- They are not allowed to file their own joint return to claim a refund


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