November 17, 2021

Don’t Panic If You Get This Letter From the IRS

Illustration for article titled Don’t Panic If You Get This Letter From the IRS

Photo: Jimmy Rooney (Shutterstock)

If you find an unexpected letter in your mailbox this week, purportedly from the IRS and offering you thousands of dollars in cash for a child tax credit, don’t panic—it’s not a scam. In fact, you’ll want to hold onto these letters as receipts for the very-real refundable tax credit that passed as part of President Biden’s America Rescue Plan. Here’s what you need to know.

What is the child tax credit worth and how is it different this year?

The child tax credit is a tax break worth up to $3,600 per child for tax filers with dependent children, and 88% of families should qualify for at least some money, according to the IRS (this Lifehacker post breaks it down for you in more detail). What makes the credit unique is that it’s a refundable credit paid out in advance, with half of the money being sent as regular checks on the 15th of each month, starting in July and continuing until the…

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