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From Car Payments to Child Care, N.H. Families Have Plans for Spending the New Child Tax Credit

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The first payments of the expanded child tax credit are hitting the bank accounts and mailboxes of New Hampshire families today.

The credit is coming to families in new ways, and many lower-income families who weren’t eligible in the past are now. Unless families opt out, they will receive half the credit as monthly payments through December of 2021, and the rest as a lump sum in April 2022. 

The tax credit is also available in full to families who may not usually file income taxes. Families can find the non-filer sign up tool on the IRS's website. Single taxpayers making up to $75,000 and joint filers making up to $150,000 are eligible for the payments.

Gabrielle Shuler of Hillsborough is a divorced mom of three kids who will receive the credit.  She and her ex-husband plan to split the money evenly, so she’s expecting $375 this month. She’s spent the summer working to grow her small craft and jewelry business, with her work as a substitute teacher on a seasonal lull.

Shuler says since she has child care covered for the summer, thanks to a local, low-cost camp through the kids’ school, she’ll be using the money for other bills, like her car payment. 

She likes that the money will be coming in monthly for the rest of the year.

“Being able to take advantage of it throughout the year, is almost like... a savings plan.” 

Lisa Anderson is the Family Support Program Manager at New Hampshire social service provider Waypoint. She says staff are including conversations about the credit in consultation with families. 

While some knew about the credit already, she says, others were learning about it for the first time. Eligibility for the credit, while greatly widened, does not ensure accessibility. Even advocates of the tax credit have expressed concernthat many of the families who could benefit the most from the money are at risk of not getting it. 

Anderson says families Waypoint has spoken with are “very excited.”

“[They] have big plans for it, so one parent shared that they're going to use it for new beds and summer toys, another talked about additional coverage for childcare tuition.” 

Anderson says staff have been explaining how the credit will work and they're helping families ensure the IRS has their information. As of this morning, the IRS reported sending out payments for almost 60 million children, totaling $15 billion.


Julia Furukawa is the host of All Things Considered at NHPR. She joined the NHPR team in 2021 as a fellow producing ATC after working as a reporter and editor for The Paris News in Texas and a freelancer for KNKX Public Radio in Seattle.

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