The Foreign Service Journal, September 2021

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | SEPTEMBER 2021 57 AFSA NEWS The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 expanded the Child Tax Credit but included new and different requirements to qualify for the expanded credit. In addition, ARPA requires the IRS to pay out 50 percent of the expanded portion of the CTC to taxpayers with monthly payments from July 15 through Dec. 31, 2021. Crucially, however, to be eligible to receive the advance payments of the CTC, taxpayers must have a principal place of abode in the United States (if married/filing jointly, at least one spouse must have a principal place of abode in the United States). Foreign Service members currently serving overseas likely do not meet these new requirements and so must unenroll for the advance payments. We understand that unenrolling by the start date of July 15 has proven to be extremely difficult. In some cases, indeed, it has proven impossible for FS members serving overseas Child Tax Credit News because of the IRS’ required two-level authentication process. Since the IRS will start paying a portion of the credit in monthly installments on July 15, many overseas FS recipients may find themselves holding funds to which they may not ultimately be entitled. Members may wish to set these funds aside because they will likely be required to pay them back later. In the meantime, AFSA is actively pursuing measures in Congress to ensure that: 1. There is a path to penalty abatement for FS members who cannot unenroll but receive penalties/interest on their 2021 return due to incorrectly receiving these payments; and 2. The U.S. Foreign Service is included in any exception to the requirement to have a principal place of abode in the United States for the child tax credit in the future. The AFSA point of contact for this issue is Senior Labor Management Adviser James Yorke at n FSJ Wins Publication Awards The Foreign Service Journal won a Gold EXCELAward for its September 2020 issue addressing race, diversity and inclu- sion. The magazine won in the category of “Diversity and Inclu- sion Initiatives: Dedicated Issue.” The September 2020 edi- tion featured articles such as “Creating a Culture of Inclu- sion at State” by Ambassado r Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley (now the State Department’s Chung, and “Inclusion Helps Drive Diversity” by Mirembe Nantongo, then a deputy assistant secretary of State in the Bureau of Global Talent Management. The EXCELAwards are hosted by Association Media & Publishing. Now in their 41st year, the awards recog- nize excellence and leader- ship in media for associations. The Foreign Service Jour- nal was recognized in another contest, as well: the 2021 Tabbie Awards, fromTABPI— Trade Association Business Publications International. The FSJ earned honorable mentions in the categories of “Best Single Issue” for its November 2020 edition featuring former Secretary of State George Shultz writ- ing on trust, and “COVID-19 Coverage” for its July-August 2020 focus on pandemic diplomacy. n chief diversity and inclusion officer), “The Making of a Real American Diplomat” by Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Western Hemispheres Julie