IRS Mistakes Mean Parents Might Owe More on Taxes Than They Actually Do — What to Know

Two IRS letters — Letter 6419 and Letter 7475 — are very important for parents who got child tax credit and stimulus check payments.

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Hoo boy, if you thought past tax seasons were complicated, just wait—this year might be a doozy. As the IRS still wades through several million backlogged 2020 returns, the 2021 filing season is now open, and Americans can begin filing.

As you prep for filing and gather your documents, you need to watch the mail for two letters from the IRS—letter 6419 and letter 6475. Letter 6419 contains information regarding your Advanced Child Tax Credit payments, the $300 or $350 parents received per child per month from July to December, and Letter 6475 is all about that third pandemic stimulus check. Both are necessary, so keep your eyes peeled for their arrival.

Letter 6419 Explained and How to Decipher IRS Mistakes: What’s Happening?

IRS Letter 6419 should contain the total amount of money you received as part of the advanced payment program and the number of children for which you received payments.

But! Alas, because nothing can ever be simple, some folks are saying the information on their letters is incorrect. The number is significant because it determines the remaining amount of the Child Tax Credit you’ll receive when you file taxes. An incorrect number, one saying you received money that you did not receive, could mess up your refund status, meaning a lower refund or no refund at all. Also, parents who didn’t receive the monthly payments but who qualified for them will have to claim the full Child Tax Credit refund on their taxes when they file.The IRS is aware of the discrepancies, and in a call with media representatives on Monday, urged the public not to panic. “We are still looking into some of the information we’ve heard about the information on the notices not being correct. We do not believe that this is a widespread problem,” said the IRS’s chief taxpayer experience officer and wage and investment division commissioner, Ken Corbin.IRS representatives suggested that parents with incorrect information on Letter 6419 log in to their IRS website accounts and double-check. The website contains the most accurate CTC payment information.Corbin encouraged taxpayers to “file their most accurate return possible.” If your bank account shows deposit amounts that differ from the amount in Letter 6419, use the bank numbers when you file. If you use a tax professional, be sure to let them know about the discrepancy. Most importantly, don’t panic. Collect your documents, scour your bank records, and do your own math. Talk to your tax pro, and make sure all your boxes are checked. With luck, since it’s so early in the season that this little wrinkle will be ironed out and become just one more fun pandemic-times memory.

Letter 6475: Stimulus Check Letter, Explained

Letter 6475 will also be hitting mailboxes soon as the IRS plans to start mailing them in late January. This letter details information regarding the third pandemic stimulus check, the only one received in 2021, and how to handle it in relation to your taxes.While most folks received their third stimulus check in March of last year, those who didn’t might be eligible for a Refund Recovery Credit on their taxes.

Letter 6475 details how much you received, if anything, during the last round of stimulus and contains information regarding the RRC. Definitely hold on to this one if you did not receive your third stimulus payment, as the RRC could cut a healthy chunk out of the taxes you owe.The IRS began accepting returns yesterday, Monday, January 24th, and the last day to file is April 18th. As with last year, it’s probably safe to expect delays, so file early and electronically. The IRS says that paper returns are more prone to be delayed than those that are e-filed.

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