December 7, 2023
As 2023 comes to a close, it is of paramount importance that any tax package includes an expanded and inclusive Child Tax Credit (CTC) that centers on including the 19 million children who are currently left out of the full credit or any credit at all.
As detailed in the October 2023 FRAC research brief, Expanded Child Tax Credits: A Transformational Opportunity to Help Families Put Food on the Table, an expanded and inclusive CTC is a powerhouse policy for addressing hunger among families with children and securing other positive outcomes for these families and for our nation.
The expanded 2021 CTC (which reached nearly 62 million children):
- increased the minimum credit amount;
- made the credit fully refundable, opening eligibility to children in families with the lowest or no income;
- provided half of the credit in monthly payments; and
- expanded eligibility to include 17-year-olds.
This improved CTC contributed to a dramatic reduction in food insufficiency among households with children and helped families purchase food, including higher quality and quantities of food.
It also dramatically bolstered the CTC’s ability to address racial disparities, reduced child poverty by a striking 46 percent, and ensured families with children at greatest risk of poverty and hunger received the full credit.
This essential expansion, however, was temporary. When the expanded CTC ended, hunger rates skyrocketed. More than one in six — 17.3 percent — of households with children experienced food insecurity in 2022, an unconscionable 40 percent increase compared to 2021.
Congress must act now to pass an expanded and inclusive CTC, and anti-hunger advocates have a vital role to play in speaking to how this policy fights hunger.
Without the expanded CTC, 19 million children are locked out of receiving the full or any credit because their family’s income is not high enough.
Take Action Today
- Use the FRAC Action Network to send a clear and targeted message to your Members of Congress that: any tax package must include support for families, not just corporations; and CTC improvements should be centered on reaching the 19 million children who are currently left out of the full credit or any credit at all.
- Check out the FRAC brief, Expanded Child Tax Credits: A Transformational Opportunity to Help Families Put Food on the Table, for more information on the impacts of the 2021 expanded CTC on households with children related to hunger, food spending, and poverty — including new state-level data — and opportunities to take action to make permanent an expanded and more inclusive CTC at both the federal and state levels.