January 23, 2022

Child tax credit, stimulus checks mean tax return confusion

Tax preparers are bracing for a long and confusing tax season due to stimulus measures and the child tax credits Americans got in 2021.

Many families have not received all the stimulus money and credits they were entitled to, which means they can claim this year.

Lesa Strull has two children and says she didn’t receive all of her child tax credit checks last year.

“I got the first one, I believe I got four, starting in July,” she said. “But come November, there was nothing.”

She said she got no response from the IRS.

What to do if you haven’t received what you owed?

Tax accountants say they already get a lot of questions about the child tax credit because for many families it was like getting part of their tax refund six months earlier.

Certified public accountant Roy Mitchell says that for those who didn’t get everything they owed — up to $3,600 per child — now’s the time to claim it.

Humans can also claim a missing stimulus control.

“The short answer out there is going to be out there somewhere to make that claim, yes,” Mitchell said.

However, his office is bracing for a lot of confusion, and not just for those missing out on some cash.

Confusion over smaller tax refunds

Mitchell also expects to hear from taxpayers wondering why their refund is $1,000 less than last year’s. That’s because the child discount was an advance on the money they usually get at the time of filing.

“That can be confusing when people think they’re going to get a full $3,600 credit upon return, and they forget they’ve already gotten half that amount up front,” Mitchell said.

Last year’s stimulus checks, on the other hand, have no impact on repayments.

Look for IRS letter in the mail

For parents who have children under 18, Mitchell suggests waiting to file until they receive a letter from the IRS explaining exactly how much they received and whether they owe more.

Those who are still confused may want to talk to a tax professional. That’s what Strull does.

“When I do my tax return, I’ll talk to someone about how I can put this on my taxes so I can get that money,” she said.

A professional will ensure that you receive any missing credit from 2021, so that you do not waste your money.


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