Will parents continue to get checks in 2022 or will the December payment be the last?
In December, most parents receive another round of payments of $250 or $300 per child. This is the last incentive payment families will receive this year.
And, unless lawmakers act, it could be the last coronavirus relief payment they’ve ever received.
Why parents can receive their last stimulus check in December
When the US bailout law signed in March, much of the focus was on the $1,400 stimulus checks that would be delivered to the majority of Americans. However, the law was also responsible for creating the expanded child tax credit, which was actually worth more money to families.
While a child tax credit was already on the books that entitled parents to up to $2,000 per child, only $1,400 of the amount was refundable, so many people who needed it most didn’t get the full amount. In addition, payments were not made in monthly installments. Instead, parents claimed the credit when filing their taxes, so it often simply offset a tax bill or made a slightly larger refund — instead of providing money year-round when families needed the money.
The expanded Child Tax Credit changed things. For the 2021 tax year, it offers up to $3,600 per child for children under 6, and up to $3,000 per child for children aged 6 to 17. The payments would also be delivered monthly, starting in July and continuing through December, so families would receive deposits in their bank accounts (or checks in the mail) worth $250 or $300 per child. Half of the credit would be delivered this way, while the rest can be claimed when filing the 2021 tax return.
This extension of the Child Tax Credit has only been in place for one year, so the December 15 payment may be the last that families receive. However, the Democrats recently passed legislation in the House of Representatives called the Build Back Better Act. This law would extend payments for an additional year.
Originally, the hope was to extend this credit to 2025, but that proved too expensive as Democrats negotiated the legislation. Still, the one-year extension would be a relief for many families who have started counting on monthly deposits.
However, legislation still has a long way to go. It will have to pass the US Senate, where Democrats only have 50 votes plus the vice president to act as a tie-breaker. And some of the more conservative Democratic senators, including West Virginia’s Joe Manchin, have expressed concerns about whether it’s appropriate to pass more comprehensive government legislation given rising inflation. If changes are made in the Senate, the bill must return to the House for another vote before it hits the president’s desk.
recent inflation rates have only served to bolster Senator Manchin’s concerns, so there’s a very real chance the legislation won’t be passed until the end of this year — if at all. That may leave parents in the dark, wondering if the December 15 payment will be their last.