Advance Child Tax Credit Update
Updated July 30, 2021*
ACTC Free Tax Prep Days
This year, advance payments of the 2021 Advance Child Tax Credit (ACTC) are sent to eligible taxpayers monthly from July through December. Families must file a 2020 tax return to receive the payments.
Please spread the word. If your clients need help filing their taxes to get the credit, IRS and community partners are holding Free Tax Prep Days on August 20 and 21 in several cities. Dates, times, and locations of the cities will be announced soon.
Here is a listing of the best online places to find more information about this credit, along with some new IRS publications.
IRS and Taxpayer Advocate Websites:
- IRS Advance Child Tax Credit Payments in 2021 | Spanish │ Chinese-Simplified │ Chinese-Traditional │ Korean | Russian │ Vietnamese | Haitian Creole
- IRS Questions and Answers About the Advance Child Tax Credit Payments |Spanish
- IRS 2021 Child Tax Credit and Advance Child Tax Credit Payments: Resources and Guidance |Spanish
- IRS Check if you may be eligible for the advance child tax credit payments |Spanish
- IRS Child Tax Credit Update Portal
- IRS Child Tax Credit Non-filer Sign-up Tool | Spanish
- TAS’s 2021 Child Tax Credit & Advance Payment Option Get Help page
- TAS’s News and Information page
- IRS Publication 5534, 2021 Advance Child Tax Credit Payments English │ Spanish │ Chinese-Simplified │ Chinese-Traditional
- IRS Publication 5534-A, 2021 Advance Child Tax Credit Payments Start July 15 English │ Spanish │ Chinese-Simplified │ Chinese-Traditional │ Korean | Haitian Creole │Russian | Vietnamese
- Publication 5537, IRS Toolkit for Partners: Advance Payments of the 2021 Child Tax Credit (PDF)
- IRS Publication 5538, A Step-by-Step Guide to Using the Non-filer Sign-up Tool for Child Tax Credit & Economic Impact Payments English | Spanish | Chinese-Simplified │ Korean | Russian │ Vietnamese | Haitian Creole
The IRS’s toll-free telephone lines have been overwhelmed with calls this year, so taxpayers proficient in using online resources are best advised to obtain information that way. Taxpayers who need to speak with an IRS customer service representative should call 800-829-1040 but be prepared for delays. The IRS’s call centers are open in each time zone from 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. Monday-Friday. Taxpayers who call early are most likely to get through.
Legal Aid Society of San Diego welcomes walk-ins. For faster service call 1-877-LEGAL AID (1-877-534-2524).
If you wish to come to an office, we have 3 locations:
Southeast San Diego Office
Midtown San Diego Office
North County San Diego Office
The Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (Tax Clinic) can help individuals and their unincorporated businesses with the following kinds of problems:
- I filed my tax return, but did not get my refund. For instance, if you filed a tax return and claimed certain deductions or credits, such as the EITC, and the IRS has not paid you your refund, contact the Tax Clinic to see if we can help.
- I have been told that my tax return is being audited: The IRS has told you that they are looking at your income tax return or have told you that they plan on changing your tax return, increasing the tax you owe, or reducing your refund.
- I have not filed past years tax returns: The Tax Clinic does not prepare tax returns. However, we may be able to assist you with the preparation of a return if it helps you to resolve a probable dispute with the IRS that will happen when you file. For instance, if you have not filed tax returns for one or more years because of what you think the IRS will do, and need some help filing them and paying any tax that might be owed or getting any refund you are entitled to, then we may be able to help.
- I owe taxes: You have been getting bills from the IRS and want help in finding out what your options are for paying the taxes. Or, after you get a tax return prepared and filed you owe tax, we can counsel you as to your options for paying that tax.
- I want to petition the Tax Court, I have filed a Tax Court petition, or I am scheduled for a trial at the Tax Court: If you want to file a petition with the United States Tax Court or you have filed a petition, we may be able represent you before the Tax Court. If you have a date of trial, contact the Tax Clinic immediately to see if we can help.
- I overpaid my taxes and want to get a refund. You want to sue to get back federal taxes you paid but you now wish to dispute. We can represent you before the IRS and the United States District Court in a refund action.
- If we are helping you with your IRS tax problem, we can then help you with any related California tax problems.
Subject to eligibility, a walk-in tax clinic is available at the San Diego County Law Library from 12:30 to 3:00 pm on the last Wednesday of every month. Services are given on a first come first served basis.
The local Taxpayer Advocate Service (949-389-4804) is an independent IRS office that assists taxpayers with their IRS issues. Taxpayer Advocate Service
Many times, the IRS will want your current financial information in order to assist you. They will ask you to use this form, IRS 433-F the Collection Information Statement.
- If a single tax payer is receiving social security income, do they have to file a return?
- Generally, if social security benefits were your only income, your benefits are not taxable. Taxpayers who receive little or no income in addition to their Social Security Benefits would typically not need to file a tax return.
- If you received income from other sources, your benefits may or may not be taxed depending on the source and amount of the income used in a calculation the IRS will make to see what part of your income is taxable. If this is your situation you should speak with a tax advisor.
Exceptions to the 10% penalty on early distributions from retirement
Generally, there is a 10 percent additional tax on early distributions from qualified retirement plans. However, the additional tax does not apply to the following situations:
1. Medical Expenses
2 Payments under a qualified domestic relations order
3. Distributions to unemployed individuals for health insurance premiums
4. Distributions for higher education expenses
5. Distributions for first home purchases
6. Distributions when called to active duty
This video explains what will happen in an audit. It is far more accurate than the scare ads you hear or see on radio and TV.
- tax returns you filed or had prepared for year(s) in issue, including your most current return.
- Copies of your most recent pay stubs or documents that show your current yearly income.
- All correspondence to and from the IRS and Tax Court.
- Any documents you think relate to your case.
We can provide general information and training on specific tax issues or problems to community organizations or groups. We have a special service to provide tax information and training to ESL taxpayers and organizations that work with ESL taxpayers. If you would like to request a presentation or traininig please click here.
Contact Shahin Rahimi for opportunities to volunteer your time and expertise. We can also always use accountants, lawyers, CPAs and other professionals who are interested in making a difference in their community and lending their expertise. Click here.