Issues in Child Benefit Administration in the United States

Research Report

Issues in Child Benefit Administration in the United States

Imagining the Next Stage of the Child Tax Credit
December 2, 2021

Abstract

The child tax credit (CTC) has grown to become a core component of American family tax and welfare policy. Temporary expansions made the credit fully refundable in 2021 – even very low-income families could receive the maximum benefit. On a conceptual level, full refundability transitions the CTC from being a conventional tax credit to something resembling family and child allowances common elsewhere. Implementing a tax credit designed to resemble a child allowance as closely as possible raises potential administrative challenges. The purpose of this report is to explain those challenges and offer principles for efficiently administering a permanent child benefit in the US policy context.

Research Area: 

Cross-Center Initiative

Cross-Center Initiative: 
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