Missing Stimulus Check? You Still Have Time To Claim a Missing Payment

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With all three Economic Impact Payments (EIP) issued and the Get My Payment tool no longer available to track your stimulus checks, it might seem too late in the game to receive any missing payments (or contest your amounts received).

However, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has provided information on how you might be eligible to claim a Recovery Rebate Credit for any missing or incorrect payments on 2020 or 2021 federal tax returns.

The first and second EIPs were issued in 2020 and early 2021, and were sent as advance installments of the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit that could have been claimed on a 2020 tax return, per the IRS.

The third EIP and any eligible plus-up payments (money you’re still owed from the third stimulus check) were advance payments of the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit a taxpayer could claim via their 2021 tax return. These stimulus checks would have been received between March and December of 2021.

A taxpayer wanting to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit will need to file either a 2020 or 2021 tax return, depending on whether they missed the first, second or third stimulus check. As the IRS explains, missing or incorrect first or second stimulus checks can only be claimed on a 2020 tax return. For unaccounted third Economic Impact Payments, they can only be claimed by filing a 2021 return.

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To find out the amounts of your EIPs, sign into your IRS online account and check under the “Economic Impact Payment Information” on the Tax Records page. You will need a total payment summary from your account or a forthcoming Letter 6475 to calculate a claim for a Recovery Rebate Credit.  

Letter 6475 is a statement of confirmation for third EIPs and any plus-up payments you received for the 2021 tax year. It will be sent to your address on file by the end of March 2023.

According to the IRS, the following communiques have already been sent to taxpayers’ addresses on file for the three stimulus checks — and should be consulted if you intend on filing a Recovery Rebate Credit on your 2020 or 2021 taxes:

  • Notice 1444: Shows the first Economic Impact Payment sent for tax year 2020.
  • Notice 1444-B: Shows the second Economic Impact Payment sent for tax year 2020.
  • Notice 1444-C: Shows the third Economic Impact Payment sent for tax year 2021.

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For more information on the Recovery Rebate Credit and how to claim it, follow the instructions on the IRS site.

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About the Author

David Nadelle is a freelance editor and writer based in Ottawa, Canada. After working in the energy industry for 18 years, he decided to change careers in 2016 and concentrate full-time on all aspects of writing. He recently completed a technical communication diploma and holds previous university degrees in journalism, sociology and criminology. David has covered a wide variety of financial and lifestyle topics for numerous publications and has experience copywriting for the retail industry.
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