The IRS is currently sending the same letter to 36 million families in the US. As many as 92% of families with children — that’s 65.6 million children — could, starting next month. New rules this year will increase the annual tax credit for children from $2,000 to a maximum of $3,600 and start delivering the money earlier than in years past.
So what’s the problem with this IRS letter? We’ll explain what the letter will and won’t tell you, why you should look forward to a second letter from the IRS about your child tax credit checks, and why it’s a good idea not to recycle either one. And what if you don’t get both letters at all? Don’t worry, we’ll walk you through that too. (While you’re here, here’s how to do itand ideas for .)
What Does the IRS’s First Child Tax Credit Letter Mean?
Congratulations. When a letter that looks like this arrives in the mail… (see directly below)
… it means the IRS thinksfor the upcoming child tax credit, based on information from your 2019 or 2020 tax return or from data you entered with the to get you . (You can also and use our child tax calculator to see .)
Until there’s a check in your hand or a direct deposit to your bank account, it’s a good idea not to take this letter as a guarantee of future child tax credit payment, but your chances are good. As with all IRS correspondence, you will want to keep this letter for your records.
But wait, what’s the second letter for?
If you do indeed get the green light from the IRS to receive child tax credit payments — PS they begin July 15 — then you’ll be treated to a second letter confirming your eligibility. It also tells you how much money to expect in those checks.
Thegets a little complicated from here, but the result is that half of the total money arrives in increments from July to December, and the remaining money comes your way after you file taxes in 2022.
You definitely want to keep this letter. Why? So you can compare the estimate with what you end up receiving to make sure you get the right amount for the right number of children you claim. In the event that there is a problem with the delivery of child tax credit checks, this letter is almost the same as your receipt from the IRS and you may need to refer to it in the future (such as in a chargeback claim on your 2021 taxes next year) .
What should I do if I never receive a letter from the tax authorities?
If a letter never shows up in your mailbox, that doesn’t necessarily mean the IRS is skipping you for child tax credit payments. After all, the vast majority of American households with children will receive some of the money earmarked for parents.
For example, while 36 million families are meant to get a letter, up to 39 million households could qualify for the credit. That means 3 million households could see a check, but no confirmation letter.
You may not receive a letter if the IRS:
What you can do now:
For more information about the child discount, use the followinglaunch by early July and what happens when you have? .