Some additional tax relief could be coming for families later this year. A child tax credit was approved by the House last week and is now headed to the Senate.

The bill titled, "Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act of 2024" would increase the refundable portion of the child tax credit and make it easier for families to qualify.

The bill to expand valuable credit for parents comes more than two years after the expiration of the expanded child tax credit that was put into place during the pandemic. Joseph Lautigar, a Certified Public Accountant and Franchisee at H&R Block said it was kind of unique.

"In previous years you had to qualify with certain amounts of income to get the full credit. During COVID they changed it to where with any income you got the full credit," he explained.

Lautigar said they were seeing families with lower income receiving a larger amount refund amount. Last year, the IRS changed back to the previous standard where the child tax credit provides up to $1,600 back in annual tax refund.

"We had people received $7,000 in refunds in the year before getting $700, literally, so a big change," said Lautigar.

Under the proposed changes the maximum refundable amount per child would rise over the next three years.

"As I read it to add, $200 to the refundable child tax credit, now it's $200 this year, another $100 next year and another $100 the following year... for these lowering income families with multiple kids that could be a significant amount of money."

The proposed bill wouldn't bring back monthly checks to parents, but does make it easier for lower income families to qualify for the tax credit. Tax payers could use their income from either the current or prior year in calculating the child tax credit, which is helpful if their income drops and they don't qualify.

"These are low income families, their tax refund is an essential part of their livelihood for the year and that kind of change hurt a lot people when they went back and I think that's why they're starting to revisit that a little bit."

The proposed bill has not been put into law yet, but Lautigar said parents shouldn't wait for the bill to pass to file their taxes.

"We have been told by the IRS that any changes that need to be made, they are going to make automatically, so there's reason to wait, there's no reason to worry about it. You can come on in and file now and you will get the child tax credit you are due with your refund depending on what passes," explained Lautigar.

Right now, no vote has been scheduled yet for the bill that would expand the child tax credit.

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