IRS Letter 6419: What you need before reporting your Child Tax Credit payments

February 07, 2022 : H&R Block

As you gather your tax documents this year, you’ll want to keep an eye out for IRS Letter 6419. The IRS plans to send this important notice in late January to those who received advance Child Tax Credit payments in 2021. 

Why is the letter so important? The details in the document will not only help you report your advance payments correctly—it will also help you claim the other half of your Child Tax Credit. Additionally, relying on the amounts in the letter can help you avoid delays in processing your return and sending your refund.

In the post, we’ll outline what the letter is, what you need to know, and an alternative you can use if you don’t have your IRS Letter 6419.

What is a letter 6419?

You can think of the letter like a tax form. The letter 6419 is the official documentation that has the details you need to report your advance Child Tax Credit (CTC) payments.*

Specifically, it will show you:

  • The total amount of advance CTC payments you received for 2021. This information will go on Schedule 8812, line 14f or 15e as applicable.
  • Number of qualifying children counted in determining the advance CTC

In addition to the details above, the letter 6419 outlines how the IRS calculated your amount and the conditions for repayment. You can also find those details in our 2021 Child Tax Credit article. 

*Note that for some filers whose December payments were returned to the IRS, Letter 6419 may be incorrect. Those filers should use their online account (see below) vs. Letter 6419. 

Do I really need the 6419 letter to file? Can I just use my bank statement?

We strongly encourage you to reference IRS letter 6419 before you file your taxes. Using incorrect amounts on your return could trigger a manual review of your return, which could delay your return—and refund for weeks.

Referencing your bank statements may not be the best route. In some cases, amounts may have been adjusted due do a variety of reasons, including if the processing of a 2020 return after an initial advance CTC payment was made.  Or, the amounts may have changed from one payment to the next as you made changes in the IRS Child Tax Credit portal. 

Ready to file but don’t have your letter? Read on to learn about using the IRS Online Account as an alternative.

Who receives a letter 6419?

Anyone who received at least one advance Child Tax Credit payments from July to December 2021 will receive Letter 6419. So, even if you stopped payments at some point, you should still expect to receive a letter.

Married filers should take note: You’ll both receive your own IRS Letter 6419. You’ll need to have both documents to file an accurate return and claim the second half of your credit.

What if I can’t find my Letter 6419?

If you’re ready to file, but don’t have your letter, there is an alternative. You can use your  IRS Online Account to verify the details from the letter.

If you don’t have an existing IRS Online Account here’s how to create a new one:

  •  Visit https://www.irs.gov/payments/your-online-account
  • Click the “Sign in to Your Online Account” button
  • Click “ID.me Create New Account” on the next page
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to provide information to set up the secure ID.me account. Note that users may be asked to create a live video of themselves (using phone or webcam) and/or upload photo identification. For help, visit the ID.me help page.

Once you’ve created an ID.me account, you can access your IRS Online Account at the link directly above. After you log in, navigate to the Tax Records tab to view your CTC payments.

Get help reporting advance Child Tax Credit payments

Whether you choose to file taxes online or file with an H&R Block tax pro, or Block Advisors tax pro, we can help you report the advance payments you received in 2021 and claim the second half of your Child Tax Credit payment on your return.

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