If you received advance Child Tax Credit (CTC) monthly payments last year, you should be getting Letter 6419 from the IRS. This letter details the total advance payments you received last year and lets you know how much of the credit you can still expect to claim when filing your 2021 tax return.
However, the IRS recently announced that some letters might be inaccurate. While this only seems to impact a small group of people, incorrect letters could lead parents to claim a bigger credit amount than they qualify for. Here’s what you need to know.
Who is receiving inaccurate CTC letters and why?
The IRS has said the people most likely to receive inaccurate Child Tax Credit letters could fall into one of the following categories:
- You moved in December 2021
- You changed bank accounts in December 2021
Due to either of the circumstances above, your last monthly CTC payment may have been undeliverable, or your direct deposit may have bounced from your old bank account, causing your last monthly payment to be delayed.
How do I find the correct CTC amount I received last year?
If you suspect your letter may be showing an inaccurate amount, you can log in to your IRS Online Account to view the CTC payments you received last year and compare that amount to your bank records. The IRS urges you to use the amount listed in your Online Account when filing your tax return to ensure your numbers match up with what the IRS has on record for you.
If your CTC numbers differ from what the IRS has on record, your return likely will be flagged, and your tax refund could be significantly delayed. So it’s always good to double-check!
Caution for married filing jointly couples: Letters sent to taxpayers who filed as married filing jointly are being sent to each spouse separately with only their half of the payments received. This means married taxpayers will each receive a letter, and they will need to combine the information from the letters when they file their joint return. If the advance payments total differs between their Letter 6419 and their IRS Online Account, rely on the total in their Online Account.
What should I do if I didn’t receive my December payment?
If you didn’t receive one of your monthly payments last year, log in to your Online Account to review your payments and see if the missing payment was returned. If the payment was not returned, you can contact the IRS at 800-908-4184 to trace the payment. When contacting them, be ready to provide the missing payment’s date, method, status, and the amount displayed in your Online Account.
If the IRS determines your payment to be returned or missing, you won’t have to include the missing payment on your tax return. If eligible, you’ll be able to claim the missing payment as part of your 2021 return instead.
For any additional questions about the 2021 CTC payments, check out the IRS’s helpful FAQ page.
How might reporting incorrect CTC payments impact my 2021 tax return?
Using an incorrect payment amount from your CTC letter will impact the amount you can claim for the credit when you file. This could lead some taxpayers to either claim too much on their tax returns or not get all that they are owed.
Ultimately, reporting a payment amount that doesn’t match what the IRS has as an official figure in your Online Account will create an extensive delay in the processing of your return.
We will update this page as the IRS releases more detailed information, so sit tight!