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Susan Tompor: Child tax credit money a no show in January; look for IRS letter instead

Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press on

Published in Home and Consumer News

Many parents might be looking for money from the child tax credit payment this January but they're not going to see it arrive Jan. 15 or shortly afterwards.

What's more likely to show up is a tax letter from the Internal Revenue Service related to the child tax credit. Don't pitch it.

You might not be expecting to see a notice from the IRS but this letter is essential to help prepare your 1040 tax return for 2021 and possibly claim any more money that you're due.

Unfortunately for 36 million families — including 1.02 million in Michigan — the advance child tax credit payments aren't going to cover any bills in January, as some might have expected.

Efforts to extend the payments into 2022 collapsed in Congress when President Joe Biden's Build Back Better Act met heated resistance last year.

Families across the country are looking at losing an average $444 a month as the program is halted, based on December data. In Michigan, the average payout was $455 in the month of December.


The total payout for December alone for the advance child tax credit was $16 billion nationwide and nearly $464.7 million in Michigan.

Democrats continue to look for ways to extend the expanded child tax credit but U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, has put up a string of roadblocks that are stalling the extension of the expanded child tax credit into 2022.

What should you do with the IRS letter?

You're going to want to keep the IRS alert, called Letter 6419, with your tax paperwork. Referring to this letter for preparing your 2021 tax return can help avoid a long wait for any tax refund you're owed.


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