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Senator Murray: “I know these families are difficult to reach, as they may not typically file taxes, are experiencing homelessness, are not primarily English speakers, or are hesitant to provide the IRS with personal information. But we must try to reach them.”  

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Charles Rettig requesting that more data be released on the number of qualifying households potentially missing out on monthly expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC) benefits. In the letter, Senator Murray stressed the need for more detailed data so that outreach may be better focused to support communities that are not currently receiving CTC payments.

“The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has paid $325,617,000 in these credits to 1,322,000 qualifying children in Washington state for the first month of the program. But with over 1.6 million children living in Washington state, there are potentially thousands of qualifying children missing out on this benefit,” Senator Murray wrote in the letter. “I write today to ask for additional, more granular data so that my office and others can continue to work to reach even more children, including those in vulnerable communities that stand to benefit the most from these payments.”

In the letter, Senator Murray asked that CTC payment data be made available by zip code to further outreach efforts, and to ensure that the families in need of this money now do not wait until tax season next year.   

“I know these families are difficult to reach, as they may not typically file taxes, are experiencing homelessness, are not primarily English speakers, or are hesitant to provide the IRS with personal information. But we must try to reach them,” Senator Murray continued. “Knowing where to target our outreach efforts will arm eager stakeholders with additional data to ensure the expanded Child Tax Credit – particularly in the form of advance monthly payments – gets into the hands of all eligible families across the country, just as Congress intended.”

A former pre-school teacher and the Chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Senator Murray has stressed the importance of making the expanded Child Tax Credit permanent, and strongly supported its inclusion in President Biden’s American Rescue Plan. Senator Murray has been working to get the word out about the credit to every eligible family in Washington state. In March, Senator Murray wrote an op-ed on the need for the CTC’s expansion and other provisions for Washington state families in the American Rescue Plan.

For those with children, the American Rescue Plan increased the Child Tax Credit from $2,000 per child to $3,000 per child for children over the age of six and from $2,000 to $3,600 for children under the age of six, and raised the age limit from 16 to 17. Working families will get the full credit if they make up to $150,000 for a couple or $112,500 for a family with a single parent (also called Head of Household). For a working family with two kids: that’s $500 or more on the 15th of every month this year.

As of July 15th, automatic payments from the Child Tax Credit began hitting bank accounts and mailboxes. Most working families have received automatic payments – without needing to sign up if they’ve already filed their taxes. Those who don’t make enough to be required to file taxes are eligible for these benefits too, but they will need to enroll at childtaxcredit.gov to receive the payments.

The Child Tax Credit is projected to cut child poverty for Black families by more than 50% and Native families by more than 60%. While only about half of Black and Latino children were eligible to receive the Child Tax Credit before the American Rescue Plan, now the vast majority will receive this vital assistance. The expansion of the Child Tax Credit, along with the expanded Earned Income Tax Credit in the American Rescue Plan, is expected to boost the income of eight million Black households, including approximately 54,000 Black households in Washington State.

Washington state families can visit childtaxcredit.gov to learn more about the Child Tax Credit.

Read the full letter HERE.

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