The American Rescue Plan, one of the most significant policy responses to alleviate child poverty in decades, made fundamental changes in enhancing the Child Tax Credit (CTC). In response to the pandemic, the law expanded the CTC for tax year 2021 to ensure a minimum level of economic support to all families raising children.
Commonwealth, SaverLife, and Neighborhood Trust Financial Partners followed up with CTC-eligible families after most filed their 2021 tax returns. We conducted interviews and surveys to assess the impact of the enhanced credit on families’ financial health. Although we focused on the second half of the CTC payment, which was delivered as a lump sum payment as part of the tax refund, we also asked recipients about their tax filing experience and what a continuation of an expanded credit would mean for their families.