This Monday, April 11, First Lady Jill Biden will headline a virtual event on the Child Tax Credit’s recent expansion to Puerto Rico and the ability of Puerto Rican families to qualify for this promising federal policy that has been proven to help lift families out of poverty.
Guests include Education Secretary Miguel Cardona and American Rescue Plan Coordinator Gene Sperling. The event is sponsored by UnidosUS, the Hispanic Federation, the Institute of Youth Development/Instituto del Desarrollo de la Juventud (IDJ), and Espacios Abiertos.
The virtual event
The virtual event with Jill Biden, other Senior Administration officials, and representatives of Puerto Rico nonprofits will take place on Monday, April 11th at 3pm ET. Register for the event. “Please feel free to invite members of your community,” say the organizers. “All are welcome.”
The Child Tax Credit
The Child Tax Credit is a refundable credit available to families in low to middle income brackets. It was established in 1997 as a $400 credit for each child, and was not at first refundable for most families. That is, families would only receive the credit as a reduction in the amount of taxes they paid; if they did not pay taxes, they would not receive the credit.
Over the years, the credit was expanded and made refundable, so that families receive the funds even if they don’t earn enough to owe income tax payments. For tax year 2021, the credit provides $3,000 to $3,600 for each child in a family.
In Puerto Rico, however, for many years the credit was only available for the third child in a family, and for any children over that number. Since Puerto Rico has a low birth rate, this meant that very few families were eligible for the credit.
Under the American Rescue Plan, the credit is now available in Puerto Rico on the same terms as in the States. For the first time, nearly all families on the Island have access to this benefit. In order to receive the federal credit, families must file a federal income tax return, which is otherwise not required of most residents of Puerto Rico.