The Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department have until January 15 to issue the new $600 stimulus payments via direct deposit, paper check, or pre-paid debit card. Those who don’t receive the full amount or no payment at all — even if they believe they are eligible — can still get it.
The IRS won’t reissue the second payment, so people instead need to claim the payment on their 2020 taxes.
“Due to the compressed timeline, the IRS is unable to reissue and mail checks and instead encourages people to file their 2020 tax return electronically to claim and receive the Recovery Rebate Credit quickly as possible,” the IRS said on its website.
If you didn’t receive the full payment for the first or the second round of the stimulus checks, you can claim it as Recovery Rebate Credit when you file your 2020 taxes. Your tax returns are due by April 15 if the IRS doesn’t extend the deadline. The IRS has yet to announce when it will begin accepting 2020 tax returns.
Here’s what you can do and how much you can claim.
Who qualifies for the credit?
You received no payment, but were eligible
If you had a problem with receiving your check — whether due to a processing error or incorrect information — you’ll be able to claim the credit.
Couples where one spouse has an SSN, but one spouse doesn’t
Under the CARES, joint returns of couples where only one spouse had an Social Security number were ineligible for the first round of stimulus checks. Because of the new $900 billion stimulus bill passed in December, they can claim the first payment when filing their taxes.
If a child was born since the family’s last tax filing, you can claim the rebate credit on your 2020 return. The IRS used 2018 and 2019 tax returns when issuing the first round of payments and 2019 when issuing the second round. Parents or guardians received an additional $500 under the first round and $600 under the second for dependents under 17.
Change in income
If your 2020 income fell below the income eligibility threshold for either round of stimulus checks, you can apply for the credit.
How to claim it?
If you’ve received any payment at all, you’ll have to list the amount you have on your Notice 1444, a form that shows the amount of the Economic Impact Payment (EIP) you received, and include it when completing tax documents Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR.
You should’ve received Notice 1444-A for the first payment and Notice 1444-B for the second one.
You can determine the actual amount you’re eligible for by using IRS’s Recovery Rebate Credit worksheet that’s in the 2020 Instructions for Form 1040 and Form 1040-SR.
The Recovery Rebate Credit will increase your tax refund or reduce any tax you owe.
Taxpayers who received the correct amount in direct payments don’t need to fill in the information about the Recovery Rebate Credit.
Read more information and tips in our Taxes section