(KTLA) – The 2021 tax filing deadline is still months away, but the IRS on Tuesday urged taxpayers to get a head start on their tax preparation, especially those who may have need to take action on some federal government payments.
These include both popular economic impact payments as well as advance child tax credits, according to the agency.
Here’s a look at what the IRS wants taxpayers to know about the two programs:
Economic impact payments
The third and final round of federal stimulus checks started coming out in March, but some people who were eligible did not receive anything or received less than the full $ 1,400.
They may be eligible for the recovery refund credit, as long as their 2021 tax information meets the guidelines of those who were eligible for the federal government’s COVID-19 relief program, according to an IRS press release.
Anyone who thinks they qualify for the credit will need to file a 2021 tax return first, whether or not they typically file one. They will also need to report the amount they received for the third stimulus check – including any additional payments – to determine the additional amount owed to them.
âMaking sure they’re using the correct payment amounts will help them avoid a processing delay that could slow down their repayment,â the IRS said.
(Note: IRS information only affects federal stimulus checks, not those sent by states like California.)
Child tax credit payments
Child tax credit advance payments began to flow to tens of millions of eligible households in mid-July and are paid in six monthly installments until the end of 2021. (The last payment is expected to be made. Dec. 15.) Families received up to $ 300 for each eligible child under 6 and $ 250 for each eligible child between 6 and 17.
However, since the amounts were primarily based on 2019 or 2020 tax returns – whichever is the latest on IRS records – some people may have earned more or less than what they were actually eligible for this year. , according to the IRS.
Anyone who has overpaid may have to repay some – or even all – of the advance credit, according to the federal agency. On the other end of the spectrum, people who have received less than they deserve can claim the remaining amount when they file their 2021 taxes.
Since only the first six months of the child tax credit have been prepaid, the last half will be claimed in the 2021 income tax return. Some parents have opted out entirely of the advance payments and will be able to claim what is theirs. due as a lump sum.
Ultimately, “families who have received advance payments will need to compare the child tax credit advance payments they received in 2021 with the amount of child tax credit they can properly claim on. their 2021 tax return, âaccording to the IRS website.
The IRS has created a special page for taxpayers which outlines steps that can be taken to streamline the reporting process next year.