Yesterday was the final scheduled payment for families in Iowa and across the nation that were taking part in the expanded child tax credit program. Over 36 million families across the U.S., including mine, saw monthly payments in their bank accounts based on the number of kids they had, and their age. It is estimated that those payments helped reduce things like childhood poverty by over 50%. But don't hold your breath if you're wondering when your January payment will post to your account.

USA Today reports that the monthly payments began back in July. The expanded child tax credit was part of the American Rescue Plan which was signed into law on March 11th. The law raised the amount of the child tax credit per child and allowed families to get half of the money via monthly payments, and the other half when they filed their taxes in early 2022. The plan was also optional, allowing you via a website to opt-out of the payments. The last scheduled payment was yesterday, December 15th. The plan is extended through 2022 in the Build Back Better plan. That bill has passed the House but is currently stalled in the Senate.

More debate is scheduled on the measure prior to Christmas, but USA Today says you can expect debate to possibly drag on into the new year. If Congress does end up passing the measure, a January payment that was missed would be sent out late to get back on track. The problem is that millions of American families have gotten used to that payment in the middle of the month. It was used for things like rent, groceries, and car payments. With prices on everything higher due to inflation, plus the rising cost of winter utilities like heat, the extra money came in handy.

USA Today says that many people are contacting their members of Congress and urging them to get the expanded child tax credit passed for the new year. Think of it as an early Christmas gift.

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