Now that the House and Senate have passed their versions of the tax bill, Republicans are going to start negotiating which items will be included in the final plan. Both the House and Senate would increase the child tax credit and make folks with higher incomes eligible. Critics say lower-income families would be largely left behind. The House would raise the current $1,000 child tax credit to $1,600, and the Senate would raise it to $2,000. But the proposed changes would help upper-income families more than those in low-income brackets. The reason for this has to do with what’s called a “refundable” tax credit. It gives you money back on what you owe, or adds to your refund, at tax time. But the child tax credit is only “partially refundable.” Since a lot of low-income working families don’t pay federal income taxes, they don’t get a huge benefit. And that would not change much under either the House or Senate version.
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