Did you receive a monthly payment (~ 300/month per child) from the IRS starting from the summer of 2021? If yes, you are going to receive IRS information letters about these payments. The first step is to check mail and hold on these letters for 2021 tax filing.

During 2021, millions of taxpayers received monthly checks from IRS; these payments are Advanced Child Tax Credits that Congress provided to taxpayers as part of the pandemic relief program. Half the total child tax credit amount was paid in advance monthly payments from July 15, 2021, to December 2021 and you will claim the other half when you file your 2021 income tax return. For this coming tax filing season, you are going to receive IRS information letters regarding these payments. The first step to take is to check the mail and hold on to these letters as the information is required for preparing an accurate tax return and avoiding the delays in processing the remaining child tax credit.   

The IRS is going to send Letter 6419, “2021 advance CTC”, staring late January 2022 and continuing into February 2022. The purpose of the letter is to help taxpayers reconcile and receive all of the Child Tax Credit to which they are entitled. The letter will include the total amount of advance Child Tax Credit payments taxpayers received in 2021 and the number of qualifying children used to calculate the advance payments. People should keep this and any other IRS letters about advance Child Tax Credit payments. People who received the advance Child Tax Credit payments can also check the amount of their payments by using the  CTC Update Portalavailable on IRS.gov. 

In summary, families who received advance payments must: 

  • File a 2021 tax return
  • Keep the IRS Letters 6419 to reduce delays in processing your refund.
  • Use the Letter 6149 sent from IRS to compare the advance payments received in 2021 with the Child Tax Credit amount they can claim for 2021.

Eligible families who didn’t receive advance child tax credit payments can claim the full amount of the child tax credit on their 2021 federal tax return. This includes families who don’t normally need to file a tax return. 

The new Child Tax Credit is a different amount based on the age of the kids. 

  • $3,600 for children up to 5 years old
  • $3,000 for children between 6 and 17 years old
  • There is no child tax credit for kids older than 17 years old.

The new Child Tax Credit pre-payments will expire at the end of this year (2022). 

Below is an example letter from the IRS. This link is the official letter from the IRS.

Child Tax Credit Letter

Additionally, there are some special scenarios I want to highlight. 

  •  What if I had a new baby during 2021? 
    • The IRS does not know about your new baby and that will be an additional refund that needs to be claimed  on your tax return. 
  • What if I am separated from my spouse and the spouse received the money?
    • In some cases, both parents will receive the child tax credit letters. The IRS will split the child tax credit in half on the letters, however, in reality one person may have received all the money due to the way you may have reported your bank account information to the IRS. In this case, the IRS assumes the money was received by you and you may need to contact your lawyer (if you have one) to demand a portion of the money back from your spouse. We cannot file for innocent spouse relief for this scenario.  
  • What if I am divorced and the ex-spouse received the money? 
    • You will need to work with your ex-spouse (and or lawyer) to obtain your money. We cannot file for innocent spouse relief for this scenario. Your divorce decree shows who is awarded custody of the kids. The custodian has the right to receive the money. 
  • What if my ex-spouse and I alternate years with our kids? 
    • You will need to work with your ex-spouse to transfer the money. 
  • I never received a letter and I have kids? 
    • You will need to go to the IRS portal (link above) and obtain it. 
  • For all other inquiries. 
    • Call RP Jones CPA, P.C. at (713) 644-1940
Ryan Jones

Author Ryan Jones

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