I understand Nate's point and don't entirely disagree with it. The one part he missed is that those who do not file taxes do not get the child tax credit. This tax credit is specifically based on tax filings, and you only get the normal full tax credit if you file taxes anyway (even if you don't owe and get the credit back) I will say, that since this credit is not likely to go away at all (let's be real here) Then I think this way of doing administering it is likely the best way to actually help kids and families that struggle. It reminds me of a lottery winner. Give someone a larger, lump sum and they are likely to burn through it faster then normal because they tend to think in terms of "Now I can buy XX that I've wanted" They are not good about saving...and this is not a conservative vs. liberal thing. People today, regardless of political leaning are in debt and basically terrible with money. The monthly check may get spent on frivolous things in the beginning, but in the long run it would likely help people buy food and other necessities in an ongoing manner...helping them to keep their heads above water just slightly.
Correct. If one did not file taxes in the first place, they would not receive a tax credit. I'm not sure why one wouldn't file though? I suppose if their income was < $12,400, but in that case they wouldn't have to pay any taxes anyhow. If that's the case, they shouldn't receive a tax credit anyhow, as they didn't pay any taxes. Maybe I'm missing something here?
Another reason that the monthly child tax credit checks are a farce, is that the exact same result could be achieved by adjusting one's W4 form to reflect the proper amount of withholdings required in order to net as close to $0 owed to, or received from, the government come April 15th. Everyone should be doing this regardless.
To me, the child tax credit checks are an indicator that American's need more knowledge / education regarding how the tax system works. This program is no different than if the government went in and adjusted everyone's W4 form for them.