Millions of people have never received a stimulus check, if you were one of them, don’t despair.
You can claim yours when you file your tax return.
Millions of people have never received a stimulus check and the IRS may have made a mistake when it took care of sending out the first payments because the federal agency used information it had on hand such as citizen tax returns from 2018 or 2019.
Other factors could also have affected the amount you received, such as missing money for your dependents, your check being garnished in error, or being a non-filer who had to do extra paperwork.
If you have not received any of the payments or believe the amount you received is insufficient, you may be able to file a recovery refund credit on your 2020 tax return.
Who can get a stimulus check?
To get an Economic Impact Payment, known as a stimulus check, you should have a Social Security number. You will also need to meet the economic eligibility requirements for people who had to earn less than $75,000 a year to receive the full amount, above that threshold the payments would be phased out.
The first stimulus check was mailed in April 2020 and delivered $1,200 per person and up to $500 per dependent age 16 or younger. The second stimulus payment, made in December 2020, was up to $600 per person and up to $600 per dependent.
How to claim the lost stimulus check?
The IRS began processing 2020 tax returns on February 12, which represents a delay from the usual January 15 start date. The IRS has made its Free File tool available to e-file your return if you make less than $72,000 a year.
If you are missing any of the stimulus payments, be sure to fill out the recovery credit section of the return, which you will find after entering personal information such as your name, address and Social Security number. Most tax software programs are available through the Free File tool will walk you through whether you have received the full amount due.
The refund credit ties the stimulus money to your tax return. That means you won’t receive a separate check, but you could get a larger tax refund or pay a smaller tax bill. If you don’t usually file taxes, for example, if you receive SSI or SSDI, or if you’re a retiree, you’ll need to do so this year. Have your paperwork handy and in order before you start filing your taxes.
The first step to getting your recovery refund credit is to confirm your payment status online through the IRS. If you see a confusing message or a possible error, you may be eligible for a refund or a follow-up payment.
To receive your refund faster, the IRS recommends filing electronically and selecting the direct deposit option. Otherwise, the IRS will take longer to process your paperwork and will have to mail a paper check.
If you don’t normally file a tax return, this is the year to do it. By filing a return this year, the IRS will have your information and will file it, which could give you access to the tax provisions of the new pandemic bill now being developed.
The IRS will send the payments automatically and will rely on the information it has without the need for you to do anything. Remember that the deadline to file your tax return is May 17, 2021.