Stimulus Update: Here's What to Do if There's a Problem With Your Child Tax Credit Letter
- Letter 6419 provides the Child Tax Credit information you need to file your 2021 tax return.
- It's up to the taxpayer to make sure the information in Letter 6419 is correct.
Filing taxes is easier when you're on the same page as the IRS.
First, the good news. If you received monthly advanced Child Tax Credits throughout the last six months of 2021, you're due the other half when you file your 2021 tax return. Let's say you have two children under the age of 6 and received a total of $3,600 between July and December. You can expect another $3,600 tucked into your tax refund this year. And if you have children through age 17 and did not claim monthly Child Tax Credit payments, you're due the entire credit -- $3,600 per child under the age of 6, and $3,000 per child aged 6 to 17.
But first, you'll need to file your tax return.
Last month, the IRS began sending copies of Letter 6419 to parents who received Child Tax Credit payments in 2021. In the letter, the IRS provides parents or guardians all the information they need to file their taxes and claim their Child Tax Credit accurately.
Why Letter 6419 matters
Letter 6419 outlines how many advanced Child Tax Credit payments you received and the number of children used to calculate the amount that was sent. If your letter has arrived and the information included is correct, you're in luck. When prompted, you'll enter those figures on your tax return, essentially letting the IRS know that you're on the same page.
What if the letter is wrong?
If you haven't yet received a letter or did receive a letter, but the details provided by the IRS are wrong, there may be a simple explanation. For example:
If you moved at the end of 2021 or early this year, it's likely the IRS has your old address. If you haven't received Letter 6419 by the time you're ready to prepare your tax return, you can log into your online IRS account to find the information contained in the letter, or you can contact the IRS by phone or mail. The main switchboard number for the IRS is (800) 829-1040. If you opt to contact the IRS by mail, expect to wait about 30 days for a response.
Letter 6419 shows the wrong payment amount
If you moved in December and did not receive the final Child Tax Credit check, it was likely returned to the IRS as undeliverable. This is true whether you were mailed a paper check or the IRS attempted to deposit a check into a closed bank account.
If that's the case, you may find that Letter 6419 shows you receiving more than you actually did. If so, log into your account at IRS.gov to check if they have the correct information there. If they've got it right on the website, that means they've got it right in their system.
Letter 6419 shows the wrong number of dependents
Let's say your letter shows that the IRS based your payments on the fact you've got two children when you have three kids. It's important to let the IRS know. For example, if you took custody of, adopted, or gave birth to a child in 2021, it's possible they don't know about the newest member of the family. Remember to file for the entire Child Tax Credit for any child who became part of your family last year.
The moral of the story is this: Do not assume that the information included in Letter 6419 is correct. Compare it against your own records. You'll need to provide the IRS with accurate information in order to receive the money you're due.
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