Child Tax Credit: Could a New Senate Proposal Bring $350 Monthly Checks?
A new Republican Senate proposal would send up to $350 monthly per child as well as money for expecting parents.
Katie TeagueWriter II
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ExpertisePersonal Finance: Social Security and taxes
Since the end of the enhanced child tax credit payments in December, talks about extending the monthly checks have waned. But a new Senate proposal introduced by Republican Sen. Mitt Romney, called the Family Security Act 2.0 (PDF), could bring the discussions back to life.
The new proposal comes with a work requirement, leaving many families out who may need the money the most or offering smaller amounts than the enhanced payments. Romney's proposal does, however, include expecting parents who are within four months of their due date.
We'll explain who would be eligible under this new plan and all of the requirements. We'll update this story as new information develops.
How much money families could potentially get under the proposed child tax credit plan
For each child under the age of 6, eligible parents would receive up to $350 per month, totaling $4,200 annually per kid. The number of children eligible would be capped at six, for a max total of $2,100 per month, or $25,200 annually.
For each kid between the ages of 6 and 17, eligible parents would receive up to $250 per month, totaling $3,000 per kid per year. The number of children families can claim would be capped at six, for a maximum amount of $1,500 per month or $18,000 annually.
What are the income eligibility requirements for Romney's plan?
The new child tax credit proposal includes a work requirement. Families must have earned $10,000 or more in the past year to receive the full benefit -- the $10,000 earnings threshold would be annually indexed to inflation. Those who make less than $10,000 would receive a phased-out amount. For example, a family with a 3-year-old child and earning $5,000 in the previous year would receive half of the $4,200 benefit, totaling $2,100.
There are also income phaseout thresholds for higher earners. The annual benefit would decrease by $50 for every $1,000 earned above $200,000 per year for single filers and $400,000 for joint filers.
Expecting parents would also receive payments under the plan
With the 2021 child tax credit, parents were able to receive the full amount -- up to $3,600 -- if their child was born by the end of December. The new Republican Senate proposal also includes expecting parents. Those who are four months away from their due date would receive up to $700 per month, totaling $2,800 during the pregnancy.
However, it's unclear what happens to the money that's already been disbursed if a pregnancy doesn't result in a child. It's also unclear if the total monthly amount increases for those pregnant with twins or more.
What other requirements are there?
Aside from income requirements, to be eligible for the proposed child tax credit, both parents and claimed dependents must have Social Security numbers.
How the new child tax credit would be paid for
The Family Security Act 2.0 would be paid for by "consolidating existing federal spending," according to Romney's proposal. That includes "reforming" the Earned Income Tax Credit, eliminating state and local tax deductions, eliminating the head of household filing status and eliminating the child portion of the child and dependent care credit. The plan estimates that these changes would save roughly $92.2 billion annually.
What are the drawbacks of this proposal?
While this new proposal would bring money to millions of families, it isn't fully refundable. That means parents who earned less than $10,000 in the previous year would receive less money, phasing out to no payment at all for families with no income.
Also, eliminating the head of household filing status and reforming the EITC means single filing families with low to moderate incomes would end up losing out on money under this plan, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. This is because the EITC cut for single-parent families is $1,000 larger than the cut for married families.