Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley’s bill would give $6,000 tax credit for single parents, $12,000 for married couples

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Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., speaks during a hearing for Judge Merrick Garland, nominee to be Attorney General, before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Monday, Feb. 22, 2021 on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Al Drago/Pool via AP)

WASHINGTON — Missouri Republican Senator Josh Hawley introduced a bill that would provide tax credits to working parents.

For households with a child under the age of 13, the bill, called the Parent Tax Credit, would provide $6,000 for single parents and $12,000 for married parents who file a joint tax return. Families would not phase-out based on income.

Single-parent households would be required to report prior-year earnings showing they worked at least 20 hours a week and earned at least $7,540. Married parents who file a joint tax return must reach the same requirements, but are eligible for twice the benefit. That effectively provides a bonus to parents who stay married.

If approved, the IRS would advance payments to parents on a monthly basis. Families would also be able to opt out of monthly payments and instead receive a lump-sum return when their taxes are filed.

“Starting a family and raising children should not be a privilege only reserved for the wealthy,” Hawley said. “Millions of working people want to start a family and would like to care for their children at home, but current policies do not respect these preferences. American families should be supported, no matter how they choose to care for their kids.”

Families could claim up to $2,000 a child as a tax credit before 2021. Millions of low-income households didn’t qualify for the full benefit because they didn’t earn enough.

Child tax credits increased under President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill passed in March. Parents can now get a tax credit of $3,600 for each child up to age 6, and $3,000 for children between the ages of 6 and 17. Families should start seeing payments in July of up to $300 per child for the next year.

Democrats hope to make the monthly child allowance permanent.

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