The Department of Finance’s Revenue and Taxation team is ready to distribute starting possibly at the end of this month the increased child tax credit checks for about over 10,000 families in the Marianas that are qualified, according to Finance Secretary David DLG Atalig on Friday.
In response to inquiry about the increased child tax credit during a radio press briefing, Atalig said his Revenue and Taxation team has been preparing for this, so they are ready to go as soon as the funds get into Finance’s accounts.
“If the money comes out [this week] I would send out the checks [this week]. And so I do want to share with community to please be patient,” he said.
Meanwhile, Sen. Edith E. DeLeon Guerrero (D-Saipan) said yesterday that she is happy to know that the CNMI’s Child Tax Credit Plan has been approved.
DeLeon Guerrero said she is hopeful that for these funds to be paid out at the earliest time to qualifying families and dependents to help them with their needs.
DeLeon Guerrero and Sen. Paul A. Manglona (Ind-Rota) had introduced Senate Resolution 22-09, urging Gov. Ralph DLG Torres to exercise his authority to expedite the payment of the child tax credits to benefit the people of the CNMI. The Senate adopted the resolution and transmitted it to Torres last May 27.
Atalig on Friday said it is not in his control in terms of when they are going to receive the funding for the child tax credits.
But he assured that, as soon as they receive the funds, the checks will go out to these households that benefit from this advance child tax credit law.
Last Tuesday, Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (MP-Ind) announced that the increased child tax credit for Marianas families included by U.S. Congress in the American Rescue Plan Act in March has now been approved for distribution.
Sablan said the U.S. Treasury Department informed him that the Commonwealth’s expenditure plan was received last Aug. 16 and approved the following day, Aug. 17.
The ARPA, which was passed in the U.S. House of Representatives last March 10, contains the largest child tax credit ever for families.
The credit is $3,000 per child for children from age six through 17. For children under age 6, the credit is $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 $112,000 are also eligible for the full credit.
Atalig said hopefully they can distribute the first batch of the checks at the end of this month and subsequently the following months to December 2021.
As to the total amount of increased child tax credit, Atalig said he does not have the exact numbers at the moment, but based on the 2019 and 2020 figures, he is anticipating about over 10,000 families that are qualified.
The official said on a normal child tax credit of $2,000, they usually distribute $12 million to $14 million annually. With the increased child tax credit, he is expecting about $20 million annually.
Atalig said it means that they have about $10 million available, based on figures from 2019 tax return data.
“I have maybe about $10 million available to distribute for the period for the rest of the calendar year in monthly installments,” said Atalig, adding that the numbers can go up as they anticipate people adding dependents to their tax return.
“We have an opportunity for taxpayers to submit their additional dependents, meaning if they have a newborn child that’s born between Jan. 1 and today, they can certainly have that dependent,” Atalig said.
He said they are going to have a portal where parents can log in and add dependents so that they can get the advanced child tax for that child as well.
Atalig said they don’t have to wait until the next tax filing date to get them entered in and benefit from these monthly checks.
As they anticipate those numbers who will benefit can go up, the U.S. Internal Revenue Services and the U.S. Treasury will pay out exactly what the CNMI needs, he added. “And so there’s no cap. You just need to prove that they are eligible dependents that we can pay these monthly benefits to families,” Atalig pointed out.
He said just like the stimuluses in the past, and every year with the child tax credits, Finance submits the listing to IRS, and IRS will submit it to U.S. Treasury.
“Once the funds are transmitted to us, we have the green light to send out the checks,” he said.