That sum generally represents half the amount of the enhanced child tax credit to which families are entitled. They can claim the other half on their 2021 return.
More than 36 million families received monthly payments, which totaled more than $93 billion, according to the IRS.
However, because the monthly payments were based on a family’s income from a prior year, the amount of remaining credit they’ll receive may have to be adjusted if parents’ earnings or the family size changed in 2021. The letter is critical to this reconciliation , which is done on the 2021 tax return.
Prior to the expansion, which was in effect only for 2021, the standard child tax credit was up to $2,000 for each child up to age 17, and parents claimed it annually on their tax returns.
Each spouse in a married couple will receive a letter stating the total of the monthly payments, but parents should not double count the advanced credit on their join return.
Some parents, however, are reporting that the amount listed on the letter does not match the sum that they received.
The agency does not believe this is a widespread problem, Ken Corbin, the IRS’ chief taxpayer experience officer, said during a phone call with reporters Monday.
IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig told reporters that he “is highly confident it is nowhere near millions or hundreds of thousands.”
Some of those affected may have moved or changed their bank account information in December, Corbin said. So their checks may have been returned as undeliverable or their direct deposits were rejected.
If there is a discrepancy, parents should create or log onto their online IRS tax account or the child tax credit portal and check for an updated figure.
“If they have questions about what’s on their letter, the best source of information is on IRS.gov, using the online account,” Corbin said.
Asked what parents should do if the sum listed on the online account also does not match what they received, Corbin said the agency is looking into the issue and will release more information.
Checking the online IRS site
One of Larry Gray’s clients received an IRS letter with an incorrect amount listed for his monthly child tax credit payments.
Gray, a certified public accountant in Rolla, Missouri, and national government liaison for the National Association of Tax Professionals, helped his client set up an online IRS account, which had the correct sum listed. He turns out that the letter did not include the December payment.
“The last thing you want to do right now is have an error on a return,” said Gray, who was contacted by another practitioner whose client’s letter was also one short payment. “If there’s an error and it gets rejected, that goes to manual process and that just piles onto the backlog already there.”
The IRS’ phone lines will be “jammed up for the foreseeable future,” Rettig told reporters. “The demand is significantly up.”
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism