In case you forgot, Tax Day is coming up on April 15. First daughter and special advisor to the president Ivanka Trump took the opportunity to remind us about the double child tax credit she was instrumental in pushing through in Congress.
"In 2019, as you fill out your taxes and you check the box for the child tax credit, you will have a doubled child tax credit and enhanced refundability," Ivanka said in a video posted on Twitter Monday. "Super-important, the most important investment we can make as a country is in the next generation of Americans, and we’re doing just that through our tax code. So check the box, remember that the Trump administration is fighting for you and your family."
The policy was introduced under her dad’s controversial $1.5 trillion tax reform package, which included large tax cuts for corporations and wealthy Americans. In a big victory for Ivanka and Sen. Marco Rubio, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 also increased the child tax credit from $1,000 to $2,000 per qualifying child and allowed parents to get a refund of up to $1,400 if the credit amounted to more than their federal income tax liability. Ivanka reportedly advocated for this change, first proposed by conservative lawmakers in 2015, for months.
— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) April 8, 2019
For a child to qualify for the credit, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has several requirements, including that the child is a U.S. citizen and was under 17 by the end of 2018. The tax bill also raised the upper income limit to $400,000 for a joint return and $200,000 for all others, increasing access for higher earners. There’s another child tax credit available to lower-income families who receive less than the full amount of the child tax credit. There’s also a new "nonrefundable credit of up to $500 for each eligible dependent who cannot be claimed for the child tax credit," according to the IRS.
Criticisms of the child tax credit include that some families wouldn’t gain anything since the GOP tax plan made other changes that could hurt middle-class families. Additionally, experts say the amount is too small considering the high costs of child care, and spread too thin among families, extending to higher-income earners when it’s the lower-income ones who need it the most.
Ivanka and husband Jared Kushner have been under fire recently for another tax break they have promoted called "Opportunity Zones." In January, watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington asked the Department of Justice to investigate whether Ivanka has violated federal conflict-of-interest law by promoting the Opportunity Zone tax break program, which could financially benefit her Kushner, according to the Associated Press. The House Judiciary Committee is in the middle of its own investigation to determine whether Ivanka has "leveraged her role in government to profit for herself."
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Source: Refinery29 – Natalie Gontcharova