On Tuesday July 13, Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-CA) held a press conference on the expanded and improved 2021 Child Tax Credit, which was signed into law as part of the American Rescue Plan in March 2021. Congresswoman Brownley lauded the advance monthly payments of up to $300 per child per month that eligible families will be receiving beginning on July 15th through December 2021. Congresswoman Brownley was joined by Eric Harrison with United Way Ventura County, Petra Puls with First 5 Ventura County, and Maricela Morales of CAUSE to discuss the historic relief that is being delivered to working families throughout Ventura County and the nation. The event was held at Encanto Migrant and Seasonal Head Start in Oxnard.     

“These tax credits will not only help families keep afloat, but they are a transformational investment to lift American families – and millions of children – out of poverty,” said Congresswoman Julia Brownley. “For families struggling to make ends meet, these advance tax refunds will be much needed relief after a year of so much economic uncertainty and unprecedented challenges. This advance, direct assistance to families will help parents put food on the table, buy clothes or shoes for children as they return to school, help make the rent or mortgage payment for the month, or pay for other expenses.

“In a nation as wealthy as ours, there is absolutely no excuse for children to go hungry or for families to be homeless. I am working with President Biden and my colleagues in Congress to make the American Rescue Plan tax credits permanent law. The Child Tax Credit is an investment in our human infrastructure, and it is an investment in our future,” continued Brownley. 

“Everyone should have the ability to provide for and care for their families,” said Eric Harrison, President and CEO of United Way Ventura County. “This expansion of the Child Tax Credit will help all families succeed, from working families struggling with basic needs like food, rent, and bills, to middle-class families that need help with childcare and college savings. This helps Main Street businesses and the whole community thrive.”

“90% of a child’s brain is developed by age 5 so that early period in a child’s life is of utmost importance,” said Petra Puls, Executive Director of First 5 Ventura County.“Growing up in poverty can have detrimental negative effects on the developing brain. Investments in the first five years of life have a higher rate of return than any period later in life. The expanded Child Tax Credit enables us to commit to the success of children by investing in them as early as possible, and addressing the economic, racial, and health disparities made worse by the pandemic. We are thrilled to see that the expanded child tax credit helps lift so many of our youngest and most vulnerable residents out of poverty.”

“Children and families have suffered so much throughout the COVID19 pandemic,” said Maricela Morales, Executive Director of CAUSE. “The expanded Child Tax Credit is like water during a drought. It will help sustain families economically as they continue to work to make ends meet. Thank you to the Biden Administration and our local Congresswoman Brownley for their leadership to make this happen.”

Under this new law, the Child Tax Credit was increased from $2,000 per child in 2020 to $3,600 for each child under age 6 and to $3,000 for each child aged 6 through 16. Beginning on July 15th through December 2021, the U.S. Department of Treasury will begin distribution of advance monthly payments of up to $300 per child per month. When families file their 2021 tax return, the remaining credit will be calculated as part of their refund. 

In California’s 26th Congressional District, 39,800 households, including 145,200 children, are eligible for the expanded and improved Child Tax Credit.

Families who have not filed a tax return for 2019 or 2020 should know that it is not too late to receive these tax credits. To sign up, eligible parents should visit the IRS website at www.IRS.gov or the Child Tax Credit portal at www.ChildTaxCredit.gov for more information.