Thursday, May 6, 2021

Full Child Tax Credit for Puerto Rico Included in U.S. Budget Bill

By on February 9, 2021

Gov. Pierluisi thanks Speaker Pelosi for commitment to island residents

SAN JUAN — Puerto Rico Gov. Pedro Pierluisi on Tuesday thanked U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal “for the leadership’s commitment to Puerto Rico by including full extension of the Child Tax Credit in the Budget Reconciliation bill.”

“Make no mistake, this is a historic breakthrough in our fight for equal treatment as American citizens,” Pierluisi said in a press release. “The full Child Tax Credit will encourage economic growth, support Puerto Rican families, and strengthen our communities.”

The legislation sponsored by the Democratic majority in Congress calls for an increase on the amount of the Child Tax Credit, which under current law provides $2,000 for children under 17 years of age. 

“For years, residents of Puerto Rico have been subject to an unfair and disproportionate treatment where the refundable portion of the Child Credit only applies to families with three or more children,” the governor added.

The legislation states that in 2021, some $3,600 will be provided for over a year for children under 6 years old and $3,000 for children under 18 years old. The payments would phase out for individuals making more than $75,000 and couples earning a combined $150,000.

Starting Jan. 1, 2022 the three-child limitation will no longer apply to Puerto Rico.

According to the Center on Poverty and Social Policy at Columbia University, President Biden’s economic relief agenda—including the Child Tax Credit Boost and other measures—would cut the U.S. child poverty rate in half.

Additionally, Congress will reimburse Puerto Rico for expanding its Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The U.S. Treasury will match up to three times the current cost of Puerto Rico’s EITC if the island chooses to expand its current EITC. This would increase labor participation and provide much needed tax credits to workers.

The legislation also includes a third round of stimulus payments at $1,400 per family member, for individual taxpayers earning less than $100,000, for head of household earning less than $150,000, and under $200,000 for joint filers.

“Today, Congress has unveiled legislation that provides much-needed relief to families struggling against economic hardship and children living in poverty,” Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration (PRFAA) Director Carmen Feliciano said in a press release. “We are grateful for the congressional leadership’s efforts in making this a reality for all Puerto Ricans in need.”

Pierluisi added: “We are one step closer to achieving equality for our people. Full extension of the Child Tax Credit to Puerto Rican families and inclusion of EITC program has been a priority for the government of Puerto Rico for many years, and during her tenure in Congress, our Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González Colón has been a champion of ensuring that American citizens on the island have access to these programs. We estimate that thousands in Puerto Rico would benefit from these credits. It is certainly a game-changer for our families and for our economy.”

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