Senator Murray: Make Sure Every Family in Washington State Knows About the Child Tax Credit


(Washington, D.C.) – Today, following Child Tax Credit Awareness Day earlier this week, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) held a video press call to discuss the Child Tax Credit expansion included in the American Rescue Plan. The expansion provides the largest Child Tax Credit ever to the most working families in history.

Senator Murray joined David Tucker and Karen Connelly of the IRS; Program Director of the Early Learning Center at Tacoma Community College, Renee Hernandez Greenfield; and Laura Winn an working mom of four from Ellensburg who will receive the Child Tax Credit, to discuss how the expansion would provide critical support to families with children and raise awareness about Child Tax Credit so that no eligible family misses out on payments. Murray also discussed her work in Congress to make the expanded Child Tax Credit permanent.

“This relief will help us build back stronger and fairer—and I want to make sure everyone who is eligible for these payments is getting them,” Senator Murray said. “So let me lay it all out—the first round of Child Tax Credit payments will be going out to working families on July 15th. If you file taxes and are eligible, you don’t need to do anything, the IRS will just send you your payments. And, this is critical, because these are often the folks who may need this help the most—if you don’t have to file taxes—non-filers can still sign up to receive the Child Tax Credit payments by going to So I’m doing everything I can to get the word out because we need to make sure every Washington state family knows about the Child Tax Credit. I hope all Washington state residents will help spread the word because you never know who may need to hear about this critical benefit.”

For those with children, the American Rescue Plan increased the Child Tax Credit from $2,000 per child to $3,000 per child for children over the age of six and from $2,000 to $3,600 for children under the age of six, and raised the age limit from 16 to 17. Working families will get the full credit if they make up to $150,000 for a couple or $112,500 for a family with a single parent (also called Head of Household). On July 15th, automatic payments from the Child Tax Credit will begin hitting bank accounts and mailboxes. Most working families will receive automatic payments – without needing to sign up if they’ve already filed their taxes. Those who don’t make enough to be required to file taxes are eligible for these benefits too, but they will need to enroll at to receive the payments.

“The first step most families will want to take is to see if they fall into eligibility using the eligibility assistant [on the IRS website]. Once they do find out if they’re eligible or not, there are other tools that are available to them as well,” said David Tucker, IRS Media Relations Specialist. “For those who are in our low income or unhoused populations, there is what’s called our non-filers tool. We’ve been working very significantly with doing outreach to nonprofits and other organizations that work with these communities here in Seattle and across the U.S., and that effort is going to continue because we know that sometimes they don’t have access to computers—so there’s a number of non-profits we’re working with to get the word out to get those populations aware of this information and use the non-filers tool.”

“If you’re traditionally a non-filer we’re asking for community support, to reach out to these folks to either file a very simple tax return or to come on to our non-filers tool on our website and enter the appropriate information so that they can get these advance payments if they will benefit,” said Karen Connelly, IRS Media Relations Specialist. “We have everything on our website, There’s everything from frequently asked questions, which are helpful to people who may not understand some component of the new law, there’s news releases, there’s tax tips, there’s also partner bundles where we have things for partners who might do outreach on this…it’s all there on our website.”

“When parents are concerned about basic needs, it’s difficult for them to be successful in school. Our student-parents are moms and dads in tennis shoes, pursuing nursing and health tech careers, transferring to four-year universities, and, in some cases, learning English or completing high school. For some of them, poverty is the last barrier to them achieving their goals. The expanded child tax credit will be a game-changer for our families, especially student-parents. It will allow them to meet basic food needs, housing, child care, and medical bills,” said Renee Hernandez Greenfield, Program Director of the Early Learning Center at Tacoma Community College.

“Normally in an non-COVID era, I would have picked up a second job on the weekends. That wasn’t possible this year. Because of my academic work helping with contact tracing and case investigations for COVID-19, I had to cut my hours at work – the child tax credit helped me pay down my credit cards and put some money in saving to get me through my final semester of college this spring. Knowing that the expanded child tax credit payments are coming is helping me get back on my feet now that I’ve graduated. So it was a big benefit to our family,” said Laura Winn, working mother of four girls and recent graduate from Central Washington University’s Public Health Program.

The Child Tax Credit will cut child poverty for Black families by more than 50% and Native families by more than 60%. While only about half of Black and Latino children were eligible to receive the Child Tax Credit before the American Rescue Plan, now the vast majority will receive this vital assistance. The expansion of the Child Tax Credit, along with the expanded Earned Income Tax Credit in the bill, is projected to boost the income of eight million Black households, including approximately 54,000 Black households in Washington State.

Washington state families can visit to learn more about the Child Tax Credit.