For millions of families, one bright spot in this year’s tax season is that they can expect to get the rest of their child tax credit payments for 2021. Last year, most families received half of this, via monthly payments, with the remaining half slated for when families receive their 2021 refunds.

To help things along, the IRS recently sent each eligible family a notice, Child Tax Credit Letter 6419. It details how much child tax credit they’ve already received, as well as how much they can expect in their final payment.

These numbers are vital; families need to report these figures accurately when they file their tax returns this year. However, some families are claiming that the child tax credit letter contains incorrect dollar amounts. They fear that may prevent them from filing their tax returns correctly or receiving their entire refund.

According to the IRS, these inaccurate balances are primarily due to joint-filing issues, as well as changed addresses and bank accounts.

Joint Filing Issues

Even if you’ve filed jointly, you and your spouse will still each receive a copy of IRS Letter 6419. It’s essential for you to include all the information, combined, from both the letters you received. Unfortunately, you cannot just include the information from one parent’s letter.

If you and your spouse only include the information from one of the letters, your refund may be delayed. You might even have to file an amended return to get the remainder of your money.

Likewise, if you’re a married parent who filed jointly and opted out of receiving the child tax credit last year, you and your spouse will both need to opt out when you file this year. Otherwise, one of you will receive a partial payment.

Change of Address or Bank Account Issues

If you moved during December 2021, the IRS might still have your old address on file — which means that your last child tax credit check could have been marked “undeliverable” and returned, thus affecting your balance.

Likewise, if you changed your bank account in December 2021, the IRS might have sent your last child tax credit check to your old direct deposit account, where it would have been rejected.

What You Should Do

If you’re dealing with an IRS child tax credit letter error, the first thing you need to do is wait for an update. The IRS is currently working on the situation and plans to send updated information to everyone involved before it’s time to file returns.

Also, don’t throw away Child Tax Credit Letter 6419! You’ll need it as a reference. However, if you no longer have it, you can pull up all of your child tax credit information on the child tax credit portal page of the IRS website. Be sure to check your IRS account online periodically to see if all the financial information has been updated.   

If the child tax credit refund information posted on the online portal matches the information on your letter, but it’s still inaccurate, you’ll want to talk to a tax professional. If you’re doing your own taxes, you can go ahead and submit your tax return with the credit refund information that’s on the portal (even though it’s inaccurate). This will prevent any delays in your refund. Once you receive it, you can file an amended return after your IRS account gets updated with the correct numbers.  

You can also submit your tax return with the correct financial information (even though it doesn’t match the info posted on the IRS portal). But if you do this, it may delay your refund by several months.

Any more questions about the inaccurate child tax credit letter you received? If so, be sure to contact CPA Nerds to get complete and accurate answers to all your income tax questions.