Child tax credit causing headaches for parents across the country as tax filing season gets underway

IRS, tax experts trying to clarify

As tax filing season gets underway, parents are working to figure out what to do about the child tax credit, including those monthly advanced payments.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As tax filing season gets underway, parents are working to figure out what to do about the child tax credit, including those monthly advanced payments.

It’s causing headaches for parents across the country.

The main thing that tax filers need to understand is what information they need to have on hand about the credit and where to input it on their tax filings. However, there have been various hiccups for different groups of people. Now, the Internal Revenue Service and tax experts are trying to clarify.

As a reminder, last year, parents were given a choice between taking the full child tax credit when they file this year or getting some in monthly payments starting in July.

So what has to be done now that tax filing season is here? Parents need to compare the amount of money they got in those monthly payments to the amount that they’re allowed to claim.

It’s why the IRS sent out a letter in December that shows exactly how much of the credit money you’ve already received.

If you missed this letter, don’t panic. You can get the same information by logging on to the IRS website — — and heading to the child tax credit portal.

Once you figure out how much you already got, you’ll need to figure out how much you were eligible for because it could’ve changed throughout the last half of the year.

That’s calculated based on your income, the number of children you have and their ages.

If you got more credit than you’re eligible for, you’ll pay that back on next year’s taxes.

Where’s the confusion? A lot of confusion was caused when the IRS had different information on the IRS website than it did on the child tax credit portal.

“So that definitely made it a little bit more difficult for people when they were first figuring this program out when it was first passed and first implemented,” said Isaac Brohinsky, a certified public accountant (CPA) and partner at GunnChamberlain. “There were definitely some missteps and some confusions with the differences between the portals.”

The solution: The IRS says to rely on the child tax credit online portal for the most accurate information on how much credit you’ve already received.

Brohinsky also says you can double-check your credit payment amount yourself by simply diving into your bank deposit records and adding up all the monthly payments you’ve gotten.

The IRS also published an FAQ webpage to help filers find more guidance on reconciling the 2021 child tax credit.

Last year, the tax filing deadline was extended due to COVID-19. But this year, there’s no extension. Taxes are due April 18.

On Thursday, two groups, the Income Movement and the Northside Coalition of Jacksonville, staged a demonstration outside the federal courthouse in downtown Jacksonville where the Jacksonville office of U.S. Marco Rubio is located.

They brought 132 pounds of rice with them — which works out to about 3.8 million grains of rice. The groups said each grain of rice represents a Florida child whose family will not receive thousands of dollars unless the expanded child tax credit is extended. It expired at the end of the year.

Rubio’s office released a statement in response:

“Everything is getting more expensive. Food. Gas. Electricity. The pressure on working families is real, which is why I fought so hard to expand the Child Tax Credit in 2017. If Democrats abandon their partisan, go-it-alone efforts, I am sure we can work together to further expand the Child Tax Credit for hardworking families.”

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