By Pacific Island Times News Staff
IRS approves child tax credit rollout for Guam, CNMI
The Internal Revenue Service has approved the distribution of advance child tax credit benefits for Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands.
The American Rescue Plan provides for the largest child tax credit, which increased from $2,000 per child to $3,000 per child for children from age six through 17.
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 full credit. Single working parents earning up to $112,500 are also eligible for full credit.
For Guam, the IRS and U.S. Treasury approved a total of $93.53 million in initial funding for CTC.
"The expanded Child Tax Credit under the American Rescue Plan will put more money into the hands of families than ever before. This program will not only lift up low-income families but will also provide needed relief to struggling middle-class families across the country," Guam Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero said.
"In addition to supporting their well-being and studies, the American Rescue Plan, through this program, helps us ensure that our children receive the financial support they need to address the economic impacts of the pandemic," she added.
Guam and the CNMI will also receive $300,000 each to fund administrative expenses for the implementation of the program.
The program's rollout requires the credit to be paid in equal monthly installments.
The governor said she has instructed the Department of Revenue and Taxation to immediately implement the program prior to the expiration of the pandemic unemployment assistance program.
“Once Guam is in receipt of funds, we look forward to expedient execution of payments by DRT Director Dafne Mansapit-Shimizu and her team, who, throughout the pandemic, have implemented these much-needed lifelines to our residents," Lt. Gov. Josh Tenorio said.
In Washington, D.C., Rep. Gregorio "Kilili" Sablan, the CNMI's delegate to Congress, said the Rescue Plan makes the child tax credit fully refundable, provided eligible taxpayers file their income tax return, even families with no tax liability still qualify for the assistance.
“This is very good news for families in the Marianas. 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," Sablan said.
"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. Lumpsum payments tend to be spent all at once," Sablan said.