Treasury sends out fifth monthly payments under child tax credit expansion

The Treasury Department and IRS said Monday they sent out the fifth batch of monthly child tax credit payments, disbursing more than $15 billion in payments to families that include about 61 million children.

The agencies said they have sent out a total of about $77 billion in monthly payments since the program began in July. Families are eligible for payments of up to $300 per month for children under age 6, and up to $250 per month for children ages 6 to 17.

The monthly child tax credit payments came about as a result of the coronavirus relief law President BidenJoe BidenBiden to provide update Monday on US response to omicron variant Restless progressives eye 2024 Emhoff lights first candle in National Menorah-lighting ceremony MORE enacted earlier this year. The relief law also increased the amount of the credit and made the credit fully available to the lowest-income families.

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The child tax credit expansion in the relief law was only for 2021, meaning the monthly payments will end in December unless Congress acts.

The White House and congressional Democrats are hoping to enact in the near future a social spending package that extends the expanded child tax credit for one year, while making the credit fully available to the lowest-income families on a permanent basis. The House is expected to vote on its version of the package as soon as this week.

“The Child Tax Credit is giving families across America the flexibility to pay for household essentials, school supplies, and other childcare needs,” Treasury Secretary Janet YellenJanet Louise YellenBlowing up the Death Star would cause an economic crisis (and other reasons employers shouldn't pay off workers' college debt) Buttigieg has high name recognition, favorability rating in Biden Cabinet: survey Biden's spending binge makes Americans poorer, just before the holidays MORE said in a statement. “This tax relief is making a meaningful difference in the lives of millions of children, and it’s crucial for Congress to extend it by passing President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda so families can continue to benefit.”