Never Got Your Stimulus Check? Claim It on Your Taxes

The portrait of Benjamin Franklin on the one hundred dollar bill peering from behind a check issued by the U.
DNY59 / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Some Americans who didn’t receive their economic impact payments might still be able to claim the funds.

See: “Status Not Available” on IRS Website Could Mean You Won’t See Your Stimulus Payment Soon
Find: Don’t Throw Away This Envelope That Looks Like Junk Mail

Congress passed a second, $900 billion COVID-19 relief package in December that included a direct $600 payment to individuals earning up to $75,000. This package followed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) that was reached and passed last spring and included a $1,200-per-person payment. However, many Americans who were entitled to the funds either didn’t receive them or received a partial sum.

Although the IRS said it was done sending stimulus checks, there’s still a way to recover the money when filing 2020 taxes.

The IRS says on its website that eligible individuals who did not receive the full amount of both economic impact payments may claim the Recovery Rebate Credit on their 2020 Form 1040 or 1040-SR. The IRS describes the Recovery Rebate Credit as “a tax credit against your 2020 income tax. Generally, this credit will increase the amount of your tax refund or decrease the amount of the tax you owe.”

Save for Your Future

See: 8 New or Improved Tax Credits and Breaks for Your 2020 Return
Find: What Is the 1040 and What’s the Difference Between the 1040, 1040A and 1040EZ?

Generally, you are eligible to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit if you were a U.S. citizen or U.S. resident alien in 2020, you cannot be claimed as a dependent of another taxpayer for tax year 2020 and you have a Social Security number valid for employment that was issued before the due date of your 2020 tax return, including extensions, according to the IRS.

The IRS has opened the IRS Free File program, a public-private partnership between the IRS and several tax preparation and filing software companies that “provide their brand-name products for free.” The program enables anyone with an income of $72,000 or less to file their federal tax return electronically for free.

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a former full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.

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