Northern Mariana Islands Child Tax Credit distribution plan approved

by Aug 18, 2021Northern Mariana Islands0 comments

The increased child tax credit for Northern Mariana Islands families included by Congress in the American Rescue Plan Act in March has now been approved for distribution. The United States Department of the Treasury informed Delegate Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (D) of the Northern Mariana Islands, that the commonwealth’s expenditure plan was received last night in Washington and approved today. Treasury did not share details of the plan, citing confidentiality.

“This is very good news for families in the Marianas,” said Delegate Sablan. “Although we do not have exact information about how the Commonwealth government plans to distribute the new, increased child tax credit, we do know what the law says and how much families can expect to receive. Especially now, at the start of school when they are always extra expenses for parents, the increased child tax credit will be welcome, I am sure.”

The American Rescue Plan, passed in the US House of Representatives on March 10, contains the largest child tax credit ever for families. The credit goes from $2,000 per child to $3,000 per child for children from age six through seventeen. For children under age six, the credit is raised from $2,000 to $3,600. Any family with two working parents and an income below $150,000 is eligible for the full credit. Single working parents earning up to $112,500 are also eligible for the full credit.

The Rescue Plan also makes the child tax credit fully refundable. So, as long as they file their income tax return, even families with no tax liability still qualify for the assistance.

“One important element of the American Rescue Plan is that it allows families in the US states and the District of Columbia to receive their child tax credit on a monthly basis,” Congressman Sablan said. “But without seeing its plan we do not know whether the Commonwealth will also help families with that regular monthly payment.

“I certainly hope so,” the Congressman added. “We worked hard to put language in Section 9611 of the Rescue Plan, giving the Governor of the [Northern] Marianas $300,000 to cover the cost of paying out the credit monthly.”

Monthly payments—$250 or $300, depending on the age of the child—are expected to make it easier for families always to have money available to meet their children’s need for food, clothing, and other necessities. Lump-sum payments tend to be spent all at once.

The American Rescue Plan provides the increased child tax credit for one year. But Democrats in Congress with the backing of the White House are pushing to extend the credit for a longer time in the budget reconciliation package now under consideration.

No Republicans voted for the American Rescue Plan when it passed the House in March. And no Republicans voted for the reconciliation package when it passed the Senate last week.