Tax season is nearly here — you can file your taxes as early as Jan. 24 — which means it’s almost time for parents to get the rest of their 2021 child tax credit money. Half of the expanded child tax credit payments for 2021 were disbursed in advance to parents who didn’t opt out of the monthly payments. Parents can soon receive the remaining half of the money (or more) after filing their 2021 taxes.
In order to get that money, however, you’ll need to be on the lookout for a specific letter from the IRS with important information about your child tax credit. The IRS started mailing copies of Letter 6419 in late December and will continue to send more letters throughout January. The agency is urging you to hold on to the notice as you’ll need it when you file your 2021 taxes.
We’ll explain what the letter contains and why you shouldn’t throw it away. For more information, here’s everything to know about the upcoming child tax credit payment. Also, here’s what to do if you’re having issues with a missing payment.
What’s included in the IRS letter?
The IRS letter — called Letter 6419 — has important information that can help you when you prepare your taxes. The notice will show how much child tax credit money you received in 2021 and the number of qualifying dependents used to calculate your total amount.
You’ll need to cross-check the information to make sure it’s still correct. For example, if you had a baby since you last filed your taxes, the IRS wouldn’t have counted that dependent when determining how much money you’re eligible for. Therefore, you’ll need to make sure your information is updated when you file your tax return.
What if you don’t get a letter from the IRS?
If you haven’t received a letter yet, keep an eye on your mailbox because the IRS is still working to send them out. However, if you still haven’t received a notice by the time you’re ready to file your taxes, there could be an issue — for instance, maybe you moved and the agency doesn’t have your current mailing address yet.
If you don’t receive a letter by the time you need to prepare your return, you’ll need to either use the online child tax credit portals to confirm your information or contact the IRS directly via mail or by phone at 1-800-829-1040. If you contact the IRS via mail, expect to wait at least 30 days for a response.
What if you lost or threw away Letter 6419?
Of course, the IRS urges everyone to not throw away Letter 6419, since it’s necessary for confirming the amount of advance child tax credit payments and the number and ages of your children. If you did accidentally dispose of it or lose letter 6419, don’t panic — your child tax credit information will be available via the child tax credit portals on the IRS website.
Registering for an account on the IRS site takes a bit of time and patience, but once you’re in, you will have all the necessary information for the child tax credit, along with other useful IRS information for preparing your taxes.
How much child tax credit money will you get with your tax refund?
The amount of child tax credit money you receive with your tax refund depends on a number of things. For instance, if you opted out of receiving the monthly payments last year, the amount of money you get will be larger than someone who received every check. The monthly checks were for up to $300 for children 5 and younger and up to $250 for kids 6 and older.
So if you were eligible for the full amount and opted out of the payments, you could get up to $3,600 per child with your tax refund. However, if you received all six payments in 2021, you could get up to $1,800 per child, depending on the ages of your children.
If you’re still waiting on a payment to arrive due to an IRS error, that should also arrive with your tax refund.
For more information, here’s how to contact the IRS with child tax credit questions. Also, you could be eligible for up to $16,000 if you paid for child care last year.