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Child Tax Credit FAQs (For Tax Year 2021)

The maximum credit amounts and income limits for the Child Tax Credit differed in 2021 from other years. In addition, many taxpayers received advance CTC payments, and had to reconcile these payments with their actual credit amount on their 2021 tax returns. The IRS recently provided information to help taxpayers who still have questions about their 2021 CTC, including:

Q: I filed my return electronically but made a mistake reconciling my CTC. What should I do?

A: Wait to hear from the IRS, and understand that the processing of your return may be delayed. DO NOT file an amended return. In most cases, IRS personnel will simply correct your CTC amount and adjust your refund amount or amount of tax you owe accordingly. You will receive an official IRS notice by mail that explains the change.

Q: How do I respond to a notice saying that the IRS changed the CTC amount on my return?

A: If you agree with the change made, you do not need to respond at all. However, if you believe the IRS made a mistake, you can call the number shown on the letter you received. You have the right to appeal any IRS decision.

Q: What happens if two different taxpayers claimed the CTC for the same qualifying child?

A: In some cases, a child meets all the IRS tests to be a qualifying child for multiple taxpayers. Generally, however, only one taxpayer may claim the child for the CTC. As a result, the IRS may reject a return because the taxpayer claimed the CTC for a child already listed on a return filed earlier by someone else. If this situation arises with your return, you will need to submit a paper return instead of filing electronically. You will then receive an IRS notice detailing next steps, so that IRS personnel can determine which taxpayer may actually claim the credit.