New Analysis: Poverty Impacts of the ARPA’s Child Tax Credit Limited Without More Robust Enrollment of Non-filers

Press Release

New York, NY, September 8, 2021 — A new analysis by JFI guaranteed income researchers Jack Landry and Stephen Nuñez finds that the American Rescue Plan Act’s expanded Child Tax Credit may have its poverty impacts diminished significantly if an estimated 6.4 million non-filer children do not receive the benefit. While full enrollment could reduce poverty up to 40 percent, reduced enrollment could mean 11 to 18 percent reductions instead. However, the report also finds that at least 71% of non-filers receive other government benefits, indicating that better data sharing among federal and state benefits agencies could substantially close this enrollment gap.

Key findings from this report include:

  • Data sharing between benefits agencies could dramatically improve enrollment; at least 71% of non-filers receive one or more other safety net benefits.
  • Conservative estimates indicate upwards of 6.4 million eligible children are not receiving the expanded CTC benefit, a participation rate of 92 percent.
  • Provided varying scenarios to estimate the number of eligible non-filer households with children, the reduction in child poverty from the CTC is between 11 and 18 percent, with 40 percent reduction possible through full take-up.
  • Estimates of non-filers are not precise, and data is even less clear on who those non-filers are, presenting major enrollment hurdles.

Read the full press release here.