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April 15, 2015   |   by Michael Bennet

Extending the Child Tax Credit

Today, on Tax Day, when many busy parents are just relieved to have turned in their return, we wanted to take time to highlight a tax credit that is particularly important to thousands of Colorado families. The Child Tax Credit, or CTC, helps working families offset the growing cost of raising kids -- up to roughly $260,000 in 2014. Parents receive a credit of up to $1,000 per child and deduct it from the amount they would otherwise owe. If the value of the CTC exceeds the amount of taxes owed, they can receive part or all of the difference as a refund.

The CTC was enacted in 1997 with bipartisan support, and the Bush Administration expanded the CTC in 2001 and 2003 from up to $500 to $1000. In 2009, we made further changes, expanding the credit to reach more low-income families and boosting the credit many families received. These changes helped lift 1.1 million people out of poverty in 2013. It provided many working parents with needed relief in the middle of an economic downturn.

While the CTC continues to help families across Colorado, the changes made in 2009 are set to expire in two years. In 2013, the CTC prevented more than 3 million people from living in poverty, including 1.7 million children, and reduced the severity of poverty for another 13.7 million people, including 6.8 million children.

That's why I support a bill to permanently extend the 2009 changes and to index the credit for inflation. Increasing a family's income expands opportunities for children by improving health, well-being, and school performance and increasing earnings in adulthood. By expanding the CTC, we can help more Coloradans raise their children and provide the 16 percent of Colorado's kids living in poverty with brighter futures.


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