If Your Family Received Last Year’s Child Tax Credit, Keep an Eye Out for This Letter From the IRS

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It is that time of year again! With February already here, families are looking at filing their 2021 taxes. Last year, around 36 million of these families were given over $93 billion in monthly child tax credit payments from July through December 2021. If you were sent funds for the enhanced child tax credit in 2021, you need this important letter from the IRS for filing: Letter 6419.

IRS Letter 6419

This letter is for all those families who received monthly child payments (advanced credit) from the government from July through December of last year. It accounts for half of the credit, with the other half given to you in your 2021 tax refund. So essentially, what you received last year was a down payment, and then the other half you can expect to receive this year. This letter shows what you received so that you can receive the rest. Everyone who needs this letter should have received it from the IRS by the end of January 2022.

In effect, IRS Letter 6419 tells you how much you got in total child tax credit payments for 2021 and accounted for the number of qualifying children used to calculate your advanced payments. Be sure to look for this section on Schedule 8812 on Line 14f to correctly reconcile the child tax credit: 

“If the amount on this line doesn’t match the aggregate amounts reported to you (and your spouse if filing jointly) on your 6419 Letter (or letters), the processing of your return will be delayed.” 

Whatever you do, do not throw away this letter even if you do not understand it. Without this reconciliation, the IRS will hold your refund until you do.

For some reason, if you do not get this letter, you can check your information before filing your taxes by checking the advanced child tax credit payments using the IRS CTC update portal.:


Gather Your Paperwork

You will want to look over those advanced child tax credit payments which you got last year by checking your bank records for that period and making sure it aligns with the numbers showing on your letter (or letters). Go by the numbers provided by the IRS. If you put a different amount, that will flag your return. Just be sure to take the time to prepare your return and gather all pertinent documents when having your taxes filed by a professional.  

Learn more about this by checking out the IRS’s “Understanding Your Letter 6419”: https://www.irs.gov/individuals/understanding-your-letter-6419

The bottom line is this; remember that enhanced child tax credit was made fully refundable for 2021, so if you have a family of eligible children, you might be able to get a refund even if you do not owe taxes for the year. It could mean receiving thousands of dollars since the child tax credit is $3,000 for children ranging from 6 to 17 years and $3,600 for children below age 6 in 2021 if you are eligible to get the full credit amount.

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Article sources:

2022 tax advice: How to get child tax credit cash, charitable deductions and free help