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You’re about to get new $3,600 stimulus payments – and they might keep coming every year

Child tax credit

We’re probably not getting a fourth stimulus check this year, for reasons we spelled out in this post over the weekend. Already, some pretty rough math shows the Biden administration this year alone has pushed out half a trillion dollars in stimulus checks and via the soon-to-begin child tax credit payments, which will start arriving next month and which are also connected to a tax credit that millions of Americans will get next year. Even President Biden, himself, is on record praising the US economic recovery following more than a year of the coma it was put in by the coronavirus pandemic — meaning, a gargantuan amount of money having already been spent plus an improved economy does not exactly spell the perfect conditions for spending another huge sum of money to improve said economy.

There may, however, be a way to accomplish that without the approval of so-called fourth stimulus checks, and in a way that’s actually better than a fourth stimulus check. Let’s first take a closer look at what’s coming starting on July 15, and what the Biden administration is pushing for.

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Through the federal child tax credit payments, millions of Americans — more than 36 million, to be exact, according to IRS estimates — will be allotted either $1,500 or $1,800 per child, depending on the age of the child. That amount will be broken up into $250 or $300 per month, with parents of kids under age 6 getting the higher amount ($300) and parents of kids ages 6-17 getting the $250/month.

Again, what we’re referring to here is a series of six monthly checks, which will be distributed starting July 15 and continuing through the end of this year. The child tax credit checks will be sent out each month on the 15th, with one exception — in August, they’ll go out on Friday, August 13.

And there’s another aspect to all this that’s gotten comparatively little attention, even as the date when all this is set to begin continues to get closer. That aspect is the following:

The Biden administration is actually on record as stating its preference that the expanded federal child tax credit be made permanent. Here, direct from the White House website — “The new Child Tax Credit enacted in the American Rescue Plan is only for 2021. That is why President Biden strongly believes that we should extend the new Child Tax Credit for years and years to come. That’s what he proposes in his American Families Plan.”

Tactically, it’s pretty smart for the White House to have set things up like this and to have already presented the messaging about it thus. The child tax credits will pay millions of Americans much more money than they would have gotten from a fourth stimulus check. The child tax credit payments are also being paid out monthly, but then next year the spigot will keep flowing — Americans will also get a child tax credit after filing their federal taxes in 2022. Meaning, that will be two years in a row when Americans have gotten accustomed to this benefit, making it politically more palatable for leaders to push to keep it going.

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Andy is a reporter in Memphis who also contributes to outlets like Fast Company and The Guardian. When he’s not writing about technology, he can be found hunched protectively over his burgeoning collection of vinyl, as well as nursing his Whovianism and bingeing on a variety of TV shows you probably don’t like.

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