IRS Warns Citizens of Child Tax Credit Scams

IRS Warns Citizens of Child Tax Credit Scams

( – On June 7, 2021, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) started mailing out notices to almost 36 million families who it determined might be eligible to receive monthly Child Tax Credits (CTC). The American Rescue Plan, a coronavirus relief package, authorized the creation of the CTC program.

Under the CTC, eligible families began receiving advance payments by mail and direct deposit. The program provides up to $300 a month for qualifying children under the age of 6 years old. Families with children between 6 and 17 receive up to $250 per month. The IRS will send out the payments on the 15th of the month through the end of the year. There is some talk of extending the program, but its long-term future remains unknown.

As one might expect, criminal elements have already begun taking advantage of the situation to defraud hard-working families.

The IRS Issues a Fraud Warning

On July 21, the IRS published a notice warning people not to fall victim to tax scams targeting CTC recipients. The IRS based the contents of the notice on a late June YouTube video discussing CTC scams.

The IRS warned CTC recipients never to disclose private information with anyone contacting them about verifying their eligibility for the program. In addition, the warning notice advised program participants to ignore or report any contact attempts using email, text messaging services, social media platforms, and phone calls.

“The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers” using any of those systems, the IRS notice warned. The IRS also warned people to ignore threats like voice mail messages stating the IRS will issue an arrest warrant if you don’t call back and verify your eligibility for the CTC program.

The warning stated that the IRS uses information from individuals’ 2019 and 2020 federal tax returns to enroll eligible families in the CTC program automatically. However, if for some reason a family didn’t file a tax return or if they weren’t required to file one for either of those years, they can go to the website to provide the basic information required to begin receiving advance CTC payments.

Anyone can become a victim of a scam if they aren’t properly prepared. Luckily, you can protect yourself with with the right knowledge and resources. If you have any questions regarding your eligibility for the program or the status of your payments, you can go HERE for more information. If you think you have been the victim of fraud, you can report it HERE.

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