Could this week's expanded child tax credit payment be the last?

The expanded child tax credit is only law for 2021
Child Tax Credit
Posted at 3:00 AM, Dec 13, 2021

IT STARTED IN THE MIDDLE OF JULY AND CONTINUES THIS WEEK WITH ANOTHER ROUND OF BANK DEPOSITS SET FOR DEC. 15. — The final payment from the expanded child tax credit is scheduled to go out on Dec. 15. Early analysis shows the extra cash has lowered poverty rates by around 40%.

The Build Back Better bill, which the Senate is expected to debate vigorously this week, would expand the credit for another year. But the future of the bill is very much unclear. That’s because the Senate is split 50-50.

For the bill to pass, every Democrat must support it because all Republicans are opposed. The vice president would break a potential tie.

So far, not every Democrat has committed to voting for the bill. One of those undecided is Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

In addition to expressing doubts about the overall spending in the bill, he has also previously said he thinks the 2021 expanded child tax credit was too generous. He added that he would like to see changes.

For example, Manchin has said he would like a work requirement for parents to receive it. Such a requirement is not part of the 2021 tax credit.

If this week is the final expanded child tax credit payment, it doesn’t mean the entire child tax credit would go away. The IRS would revert to the traditional, albeit smaller, child tax credit. Parents would get that money when they file their tax returns instead of monthly installments.

How big would that change be? The left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities says a single mother of two, working a part-time job that pays around $12,500 a year, gets $550 per month under the 2021 tax laws.

Without the monthly child tax credit, that single mother would only get around $1,500 for the entire year.