Nina Olson: Thinking Out Loud About the Advanced Child Tax Credit – Part I (June 29, 2021)

Nina Olson, Executive Director of the Center for Taxpayer Rights and former National Taxpayer Advocate of the United States, has made available for download her article “Thinking Out Loud About the Advanced Child Tax Credit – Part I”, published on the Procedurally Taxing blog. The abstract is as follows:

With the recent launch of a campaign to get people who are not usually networked with the federal tax system to sign up for the Advanced Child Tax Credit (AdvCTC), the Administration, Congress, and advocates are focusing on what a permanent AdvCTC would look like.  Some child welfare and anti-poverty advocates are promoting the concept of a monthly payment that would bear many characteristics of traditional social benefits programs, notably the concept of “presumptive” eligibility.  While this concept appears superficially attractive, I have a lot of concerns about how this approach would fit with fundamental principles of taxation.  If it is adopted as currently proposed, I believe it would ultimately lead to the CTC being removed from the tax code entirely because it would become unworkable and severely impair taxpayer rights and a fair tax system.  That’s a lot to put on a simple proposal, and I am not sure about this – I am noodling through this, having many discussions and doing a lot of thinking.  But because this idea seems to be gaining traction, I thought I should lay out my concerns.  Again, this is me thinking out loud, but I haven’t heard these issues raised publicly and they need to be discussed before we, as a country, do something that ultimately might end up a big mess.  If we want to proceed after considering these things, fine, but at least we will go forward with eyes wide open.  Given the importance of these issues, this post is longer than the typical PT blog post, and I will follow it up this week with two additional posts.

Click here to read Nina Olson’s summary of “Thinking Out Loud About the Advanced Child Tax Credit – Part I”

Posted by Marin Larkin, Associate Editor, Wealth Strategies Journal.

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