Child tax credit: Here you get the rest of the money

Child tax credit: Here you get the rest of the money

Gather up your important tax documents, because starting Jan. 24, you can file your tax return with the IRS. That means you’ll soon get any child tax credit money owed to you as a refund. Before tax season arrives, make sure you’ve received Letter 6419. It has details about your child tax credit money that you’ll need for your taxes. If you haven’t received that form yet, keep an eye out for it in the mail.

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  • Sarah Tew/CNET

  • When you file your taxes, you’ll be able to claim any child tax credit money you didn’t receive in 2021 — for instance, if you opted out or if you had a baby later in the year. The IRS letter will tell you how much money you received in 2021 and the number of qualifying dependents used to calculate the payment amounts to compare with your current household situation.

After you receive the remainder of the enhanced payments, you may be wondering what comes next and whether Congress will eventually reauthorize the payments. We’ll explain the latest on the child tax credit payments. We’ll also tell you what to expect when you file your taxes this year. This story is updated regularly.

The IRS said it started sending out Letter 6419 to families in late December and will continue sending it through January. If you haven’t received the letter yet, keep an eye on your mailbox, because you’ll need it when you file your taxes this year. The note contains important information about your child tax credit payments that you’ll need to double-check for accuracy — for instance, the number of dependents used to determine the amount of money you get.

File your child tax credit letter with other tax documents

How much child tax credit money you might get with your refund this year

If you and your family meet the income eligibility requirements and you received each payment between July and December last year, you can expect to receive up to $1,800 for each child age 5 and younger, or up to $1,500 for each child between the ages of 6 and 17, when you file your 2021 taxes.

If you opted out of receiving payments before the first check went out, you’ll get the full amount you qualify for at once — up to $3,600 per child under 6 and $3,000 per child ages 6-17. Any payments you missed due to IRS errors or because you unenrolled should be included with your tax refund. If you opted out of advance payments, you could receive $3,600 per child when you file 2021 taxes.

Sarah Tew/CNET
What if you never got one or more child tax credit payments last year? If you’re missing money from one of the previous checks due to an IRS error or outdated information, you can either wait for the issue to be resolved when you file your taxes or you can file a payment trace with the IRS. Before you do that, track your check to make sure it’s not already on the way.

Note that if you gained a dependent since you last filed taxes, the IRS wouldn’t have that information on file. If that’s your case, you won’t get any money until you file your taxes. Will the advance payments you received affect your taxes this year?

Your taxes could be affected by the child tax credit payments. Sarah Tew/CNET
How to get your child tax credit money if you had a newborn or adopted since last filing your taxes

You received an overpayment and the IRS didn’t adjust the amount on later payments. You’ll have to pay this back.You received payments you didn’t qualify for. You’ll have to pay the IRS back.Your income changed, and you didn’t report it to the IRS. This could result in a larger or smaller tax refund or you owing the IRS, depending on if your income was higher or lower than what the IRS used to calculate your payment.You opted out of the payments last year, so your payout will be larger this year.You received money for a child who turned 18 last year. You may have to pay that money back. The child tax credit payments you got this year could potentially affect your taxes (for better or worse). Here’s how:

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