The IRS is warning parents about a special form, related to the child tax credit, that you need in order to file your taxes this week.
If you don’t have that letter from the IRS right now, it could be for 3 different reasons: You never received it because of an address change or something else; the IRS hasn’t mailed yours out yet; or you got it and threw it away, which is OK because there’s a website where you can get all of the information you need.
If you lost or threw away letter 6419, you can head to IRS.gov and create an account. You’ll be able to find all of the information that was in the letter, which includes how much money you received in child tax credit over 6 months in 2021 and the number of children who qualified.
Victor Claar, an economist at Florida Gulf Coast University, says now that we’re in tax season, there’s one thing parents need to keep in mind.
“This is money that in many cases is already been paid to you,” Claar said. “And it may mean that either your tax bill will be higher than you’re used to when you file for 2021 or the refund that you get may be smaller, again, because you’ve already received six out of the 12 payments worth of credits that you would have received at this point when you file your taxes.”
For people who have a different filing status in 2021, you need to pay extra attention to that form because it’s based on your 2020 filing status. If you had a child turn 18 last year or you adopted or gave birth to a child in 2021, Claar says the payments you received may be more or less than what it should have been.
“If your family status changed, pay close attention to that letter,” Claar said. “And also pay very close attention to the IRS rules for who qualifies for that… I think, in the worst of all possible cases, you might owe some money; if, during a particular narrow timeframe, one of your children turned 18, for example.”
Claar says the IRS is still mailing out those letters, so if you haven’t recieved it yet, it’s probably on the way.