On March 11, President Biden signed legislation enacting the American Rescue Plan, which Democrats passed through Congress in order to provide much-needed relief to help communities, small businesses, workers and families get through this crisis and build back better.
As a result, our country is making major headway in defeating the COVID-19 pandemic. Vaccines are being distributed widely, cases and fatalities are plummeting, and working families are getting the assistance they need to get back on their feet as our economy reopens safely.
While March 11 marked a critical moment in our nation’s turn toward recovery, the date that is perhaps most critical for Maryland families is July 15.
Next month, many Maryland families will begin receiving additional assistance provided by the American Rescue Plan’s historic expansion of the child tax credit. This major federal investment in Maryland’s families will provide 39 million households in our country with $3,600 for every child younger than 6 and $3,000 for every child from 6 to 17 years old in 2021. Here in Maryland, 1,125,000 children will be eligible for this benefit – including over 132,000 in the 5th District alone.
Single-parent households earning less than $75,000, heads of households making $112,000, or married joint filers whose household income is less than $150,000, are eligible to receive this benefit. Moreover, instead of having to wait until filing taxes next year, families will see monthly portions of their child tax credit payments deposited directly into their bank accounts to help them put food on the table, pay for daily necessities, afford child care, cover health care expenses and save for their children’s future throughout the year.
In addition to helping millions of families get through the economic crisis caused by this pandemic, the enhanced child tax credit is expected to lift an additional 4.1 million children fully out of poverty in our country, including 52,000 children in Maryland. This will help them get more food on their plates, better care, and additional resources and support as they grow. In all, 85% of Maryland children would benefit directly from the new child tax credit.
Families that file their taxes electronically and use direct deposit for their tax payments or refunds will not need to do anything to begin receiving their monthly child tax credit payments. But for those who do not file or who do not have their bank accounts linked to the IRS, it is an easy and simple process to begin receiving them. Marylanders can use the new Child Tax Credit Non-filer Sign-up Tool today and follow instructions to sign up and update their information.
I was proud to bring the American Rescue Plan legislation to the House floor and vote to enact it, just as I was honored to stand beside President Biden when he signed it into law. The enhanced child tax credit will help so many families and children in Maryland. Every child deserves a chance to grow up free from hunger, free from poverty, and able to access the best care and education available.
–REP. STENY H. HOYER
The writer, a Democrat, is the U.S. House majority leader and represents Maryland’s 5th congressional district.