As child tax credit payments roll out, IRS warns about potential scams

IRS issues warning about child tax credit scams
IRS issues warning about child tax credit scams
Published: Jul. 26, 2021 at 9:26 PM AKDT
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As families across the country are getting payments of the child tax credit, the IRS is warning taxpayers about potential scams.

“For the first time, Americans are receiving advance payments of the child tax credit, giving rise to historic relief for millions of working families,” said IRS Criminal Investigation Acting Special Agent in Charge Corinne Kalve in a Monday press release. “Unfortunately, with these payments, there are those who, driven by greed, will try to exploit you for your child tax credit payment.”

According to the release, people need to know that the IRS does not contact taxpayers via email, text messages or social media to request or verify personal or financial information.

The IRS also does not leave pre-recorded, urgent or threatening messages that are aggressive, or ask for payments through gift cards, wire transfers or cryptocurrency. The IRS will, however, contact people in a letter sent through the mail.

“It will be addressed to the taxpayer we’re trying to get in touch with and within the envelope will be all the information that you would need in order to find out what it is we are looking for,” said Erin Kaauwai with the IRS Criminal Investigation Division. “It will have phone numbers and points of contact in that letter.”

Though payments started rolling out just over a week ago, there is still time for people to opt out of receiving them.

“The IRS has set up a tool, or a portal, where taxpayers can go to and opt out of the advanced payments if they wish to do so,” said Haylee Kurka, owner of Noble Business Services in Wasilla. “That is essentially going to be if there’s two parents on a return. If they’re married filing jointly both parents would have to go and separately make that election to opt out of those advanced payments.”

For those questioning whether they want to opt out of payments, Kurka had the following advice:

“If you’re generally getting a refund every year on a normal tax year you can or can’t opt out, it’s not a big deal,” Kurka said. “But if you are usually having a balance due what’s going to happen is the advanced child tax credit could actually make it so that your balance due at tax time is larger because you wont have as much credit to post against your liability at that point.”

Kurka also recommended talking to an advisor or tax professional because everyone’s situation is different.

To report a scam or get more information on the child tax credit, visit the IRS website.

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