Stimulus Update: Still Missing the Last Check? Here’s How You Can Get It

A photo of the economic stimulus check that was sent to US citizens during the covid-19/coronavirus quarantine.
LPETTET / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Eligible taxpayers who never received their third and final federal stimulus payments last year still have time to claim the money, even though the IRS sent out the final payments at the end of 2021.

See: What 2022 Means for Stimulus Checks and the Child Tax Credit
Find: Stimulus Checks Totaled Over $850 Billion: See How That Money Was Spread Out

Most eligible Americans already got the payments, the IRS said on its website. But if you are missing a payment, or got less than you were entitled to, you can claim a Recovery Rebate Credit based on your 2021 tax year information.

If you’re eligible, you’ll need to file a 2021 tax return even if you don’t usually file one. The 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit will reduce any tax you owe for 2021 — or be included in your tax refund.

If you file your 2021 tax return electronically this year, the tax software will help you figure your 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit, the IRS said. The credit can be direct deposited into your bank account as long as you provide routing and account numbers.

Make Your Money Work

Keep on the lookout for an IRS notice, called Letter 6475, that will be sent to people who received 2021 economic impact payments. The letter will include a record of the money sent as well as notice of additional payments due for eligible recipients, CNBC reported.

Related: Stimulus Update: What COVID-Era Programs Will Continue in 2022?

Eligibility for the 2021 stimulus checks was determined using either 2020 or 2019 tax returns, which means you could get more money if you had a decline in income last year and didn’t receive the full amount you were due. The additional funds will either be applied to taxes owed or returned in your refund.

The full amount for the third and final stimulus check, sent out last year, went to those with an adjusted gross income of $75,000 for single filers, or $150,000 for those married and filing jointly. Even if you earned more than that in 2021, you would still be able to claim some of the money if your income was less than $80,000 for single filers, or $160,000 for those married and filing jointly.

Learn: Will You Have To Pay Taxes on Your Stimulus Checks?
Explore: Stimulus Checks in 2022? How Omicron Could Prompt Discussions for Further Relief Payments

Make Your Money Work

You’ll need a record of this information to determine how much money you’ll get — using either the IRS Form 1040 Recovery Rebate Credit Worksheet or an online tax software program. Just be sure not to include missing first or second stimulus payments, which were sent out in 2020, on this year’s tax return. Instead, refer to “How to Claim the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit” on the IRS website.

If you had a child born in 2021, you can also claim their stimulus check with the Recovery Rebate Credit, CNBC noted. You might also be able to claim the full child tax credit if did not receive the monthly advance payments that began last summer.

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About the Author

Vance Cariaga is a London-based writer, editor and journalist who previously held staff positions at Investor’s Business Daily, The Charlotte Business Journal and The Charlotte Observer. His work also appeared in Charlotte Magazine, Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal and Business North Carolina magazine. He holds a B.A. in English from Appalachian State University and studied journalism at the University of South Carolina. His reporting earned awards from the North Carolina Press Association, the Green Eyeshade Awards and AlterNet. In addition to journalism, he has worked in banking, accounting and restaurant management. A native of North Carolina who also writes fiction, Vance’s short story, “Saint Christopher,” placed second in the 2019 Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition. Two of his short stories appear in With One Eye on the Cows, an anthology published by Ad Hoc Fiction in 2019. His debut novel, Voodoo Hideaway, was published in 2021 by Atmosphere Press.
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