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June 2021-UH OH, IT’S FROM THE IRS….OR IS IT?

We at Abo and Company are always here to assist but we can’t tell you how many times we get panic calls from clients who have heard from their Uncle Sam. So let’s get something straight about IRS communications.

First, the IRS may use email with an individual after an IRS agent-individual relationship has been established, but you will always know to expect an email in advance. If you receive an email saying it's from the IRS regarding anything that the IRS hasn't previously contacted you about through the mail, you can be confident it isn't authentic, and shouldn't click on any links it contains.

Second, the IRS will not initiate email contact with you without your consent. When you enroll in any of the IRS online applications via IRS.gov, they will confirm your email address and your personal information/identity during the electronic authentication process.

Third, when the IRS needs to contact a taxpayer, the first contact is normally by letter delivered by the U.S. Postal Service. The IRS doesn't normally initiate contact with taxpayers by email, nor does it send text messages or contact through social media channels. Depending on the situation, IRS employees may first call or visit with a taxpayer.

Finally, if you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money, here's what you should do: If you know you owe taxes or think you might owe, call the IRS at 1.800.829.1040. The IRS workers can help you with a payment issue.

That said, we did want to alert certain individuals they may be getting the following LEGITIMATE letter from the IRS regarding advance tax payments of the child tax credit. This is “straight from the horse’s mouth (yep the IRS itself) so we wanted you to be aware and it’s the IRS’ own sample letter:

By the way, the letter is pretty straight forward so you may see right off it is inapplicable to you. That’s cool, perhaps pass this along to someone you know it might apply. We do.

IRS Sample Letter to Taxpayers Regarding

Advance Payments of the Child Tax Credit

You may be eligible to receive advance payments of the Child Tax Credit (CTC). If you're eligible for advance CTC payments and want to receive these payments, you don't need to take any action. You will receive a letter with more details.

The American Rescue Plan, signed into law in March, made important changes to the CTC for most taxpayers in 2021. The credit amounts increased for many taxpayers, and the credit is fully refundable, which means taxpayers can benefit from the credit even if they don't owe any income taxes. The credit also includes qualifying children who turn age 17 in 2021. The American Rescue Plan directs the IRS to make advance monthly payments of half the estimated annual CTC. The IRS will make payments from July through the end of this year.

For tax year 2021, the advance CTC payments will be half of the estimated CTC. The maximum annual CTC will be $3,000 per qualifying child between the ages of 6 and 17, and $3,600 per qualifying child under age 6, at the end of 2021. In general, qualifying children must live with the taxpayer in the United States for more than half the year.

The maximum credit is available to taxpayers with a modified Adjusted Gross Income of:

  • $75,000 or less for single taxpayers,
  • $112,500 or less for head of household,
  • $150,000 or less for married couples filing a joint return and qualifying widow(er)s and the maximum credit phases out for higher income taxpayers.

If you don't wish to receive advance CTC payments, instructions on how to unenroll from these payments will be available by the end of June. Please continue to check www.irs.gov/childtaxcredit2021 for additional information about these advance CTC payments.