What to do when the IRS sends you Letter 6419

The IRS Letter 6419 is a new letter anyone receiving advance Child Tax Credit payments should be anticipating. 

In January 2022, the IRS will send out these letters to households. Letter 6419 will serve as a reminder to log into your IRS tax account and make sure the advance Child Tax Credit payments the IRS says you received match up with what was deposited into your account. 

What should I do with the letter?

The IRS recommends you keep this letter for your records and include it with your tax documents. 

You can find more information about the Child Tax Credit changes here and you can find out about what will happen if you received the wrong amount of advance payments here. 

What address does the IRS send the letter to?

The IRS will send Letter 6419 to the last address they have on file for you. Usually, this comes from the last tax return that you filed. 

If you moved recently, you’ll want to make sure you get mail from the IRS, including this letter. You can do this by updating your address with the IRS. This can be done by mail, phone, or online. You can call the IRS to change your address at 1-800-829-1040. 

You can complete and mail Form 8822 to change your address. Note: It can normally take the IRS four to six weeks to process a change of address that is mailed in.

Also, the Child Tax Credit Update Portal now allows you to change your address. This may be the simplest and quickest way to update our change of address.

What if I Don’t Receive Letter 6419? Can I Still File my Tax Return?

You can still file your tax return without Letter 6419. The most important thing is that you make sure you enter the correct total amount for the advance Child Tax Credit payments into your tax return. 

If what you enter differs from what the IRS has on record, it may delay the processing of your tax return. 

We’ll know more about this as we get closer to tax season. Since this is a new process, the IRS hasn’t yet provided detailed information about the processing. We do know that many saw delays in the processing of their 2020 tax returns when the amount they entered in their 2020 tax return for the stimulus checks (or economic impact payments) did not match IRS records. 

Here are some ways to get the correct total:

  1. Check your history of payments in your IRS Child Tax Credit Update portal. Please remember if you file jointly that both spouses will need to check each of their portals. 
  2. Open or create your Tax Account at irs.gov. You will be able to find a record of the history of payments there. 
  3. Check your bank records. If you had direct deposit it should show as IRS TREAS 310 CHILDCTC.

If you have a tax professional prepare your tax return, expect that they will ask you for proof of the amount of payments you are claiming you received.

What if I Don’t Agree with IRS Letter 6419 or IRS Records of Payments?

You can still file your tax return with what you believe is the correct amount, but make sure that you have documentation (ex: bank statements, etc.). 

You may need that documentation later. As was mentioned above, if the number you enter for total payments differs from what the IRS has on file, your tax return – and tax refund – may be delayed. 

If the IRS makes an adjustment to your tax return, you can expect to receive a letter from the IRS explaining the adjustment. If at that point you still believe the IRS is wrong, the letter should explain what further actions you can take. 

If you aren’t comfortable navigating this situation on your own, you can consider engaging a tax professional or inquiring with the Taxpayer Advocate Service about whether or not they can help. 

You may need to compare the payment dates and amounts the IRS says you received to what you actually received. The IRS does offer payment traces upon request, and you may request your bank do some tracing. Although, if money was sent to another account they cannot give you the information about that other account. If you suspect you may be a victim of identity theft, you may need to take some actions. The IRS provides identity theft guidance here and the FTC provides guidance here.

If you and the IRS don’t agree on the amount of Advance Child Tax Credit Payments received, it may take months to resolve. 

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