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Published: January 25, 2022   |   Last Updated: January 25, 2022

TAS Tax Tip: Caution: Married filing joint taxpayers need to combine advance Child Tax Credit payment totals from IRS letters when filing

Caution: Married filing joint taxpayers need to combine advance Child Tax Credit payment totals from IRS letters when filing

Advance Child Tax Credit (CTC)

A word of caution to all married parents filing a joint return for tax year 2021 who received advance Child Tax Credit (CTC) payments in 2021: you must combine the total amounts shown in box 1 of both IRS Letters 6419 when you file your federal income tax return this year.

If you claimed married filing joint status on the tax return which the IRS used to calculate your advance payments (2020, or 2019 if your 2020 tax return was not processed when this calculation was made), and you will be filing a joint tax return for 2021, you and your spouse will receive a separate Letter 6419, even if you have the same address. The total advance payment amount shown on each letter is one half of the total issued to you collectively.

Therefore, when reconciling the advance CTC received and the CTC, you and your spouse are required to add the total amounts from both letters for reporting purposes. So, don’t be fooled; these are not duplicate letters.

Example: The IRS issued a total of $900 to both you and your spouse in 2021. The total on each Letter 6419 is $450, which is one-half of the total issued to both spouses. When you report these advance payments, you must combine these amounts (totaling $900), when you complete your joint tax return, using Schedule 8812.

So, again, if you are married filing jointly for tax year 2021, be sure to add the amount reported in box 1 on your Letter 6419 and your spouse’s Letter 6419. That combined total is what must be reported on Schedule 8812. See the Schedule 8812 instructions for more details.

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