If you were, now’s the time to claim it on your . If you didn’t receive the , you can file for a as part of this year’s tax cycle.
The IRS is already, but you’ve got until April 15 to file. Just 24 hours after you , you can begin (the IRS is asking taxpayers to avoid filing paper returns this year, if possible, to keep the process moving quickly).
It sounds simple, but there are a few catches that could keep you from getting your missingon time — or at all. Here’s what you need to know right now about exceptions that could trip up your claim. (And here’s what you should know about a for , including , and how .)
Recovery Rebate Credit claims take extra work, even for nonfilers
Unfortunately, your missing stimulus money won’t just show up on your tax return. You have to file a form to claim your money as a Recovery Rebate Credit. We’ve got, but the basics are:
3. If you’re filing for a partial check rebate, you’ll need the IRS’ calculated amount from. This was called Notice 1444 for the first payment and Notice 1444-B for the second payment.
If you don’t usually have to file taxes — for example, if you receive, or if you’re — you should have automatically received a first and second stimulus check. But if your check never arrived (there were ), you will still have to file a 2020 tax return this year and claim your Recovery Rebate Credit to claim your missing stimulus money. We’ve got instructions on .
The IRS still has to process your tax return before you get any money
Once you file your taxes with your Recovery Rebate Credit form, you’ll have to wait for the IRS to process your tax refund. If you file for the credit and are owed money, you’ll either see the amount of your tax refund increased or the amount of tax you owe reduced, depending on the amount of.
The IRS says it issues most tax refunds within 21 days, but many people will get theirs far sooner. We’ve gotbased on your situation.
Filing for a tax extension lengthens your wait time
You can file your tax return anytime before the. However, if you need more time, you can , which would move your deadline to Oct. 15.
You can still claim missing stimulus money through a Recovery Rebate Credit if you file your taxes with an extension, but keep in mind that this means your refund will arrive correspondingly later. For example, if you wait until Oct. 15 to claim it, the earliest you would get the money is Oct. 22.
You may not get a check if you owe the IRS any money
Under the cover past-due child support. That rule changed with the second stimulus check, which couldn’t be taken if you .from March 2020, your first stimulus check could be seized by state and federal agencies to
However, these rules are different when you file for missing stimulus money on your 2020 tax return. For certain outstanding debts — including past-due child support and unpaid student loans — the IRS can withhold some or all of your unpaid stimulus payment issued as a Recovery Rebate Credit when you file your taxes. An independent taxpayer advocacy group within the IRS is working with the agency to address this issue. (Find out .)
If you do owe the IRS money, you may be wondering: Should I bother filing for a Recovery Rebate Credit if the agency is going to take my money away? It likely still makes sense for you to do so, because it will help you pay down your debt — even if you won’t be able to access those funds as the laws intended.
Your money could be garnished, even if you’re claiming it due to an IRS error
There wereeven though you were eligible, including IRS errors, closed bank accounts or changed addresses. Unfortunately, even if there was an IRS error, if you did not get the money as a , or , the IRS can claim it to cover your debts when you file for it on your tax return.
This is due to a limitation that subjects Recovery Rebate Credits to regular rules for unpaid federal taxes and certain other debts, so the credit is treated differently than the stimulus checks paid up front.
If the IRS makes another error with your third check, you’ll have to wait until tax season next year to get it sorted out
Much like the first and second checks, you’ll be able to claim any missing money from the third check owed to you or your dependents during tax season next year, 2022. That’s a long way away. The best thing to do right now to make sure your third check does arrive on time is to.
4 ways to get your refund faster
- If you’re filing for a , the IRS probably last fall. , which the IRS suggested, you’ll need the amount of the payment listed in the letter when you file this year.
- If you’re able to the latest proposal (PDF)– which isn’t law yet. , it can mean quicker turnaround for your refund, if one is due to you. In addition, any potential missing stimulus payments are also tied to your taxes this year, so as well as a stimulus check in one payment. It’s also more likely you’ll get your full payment with the because the IRS would base your on your 2019 and 2020 taxes, according to
- If you don’t have avoid filing paper returns if possible as well, to safeguard against further delays. , setting it up when you file your taxes can mean seeing your refund sooner — especially if you combine it with electronic filing. The IRS has actually asked taxpayers to
- If you’ve moved recently or you’re planning to move, you’ll need to , even if it’s temporary. Keeping your address information up to date helps to ensure that you receive all your stimulus checks — the potentially missing ones too — as well as your tax refund.
For more, check out everything we know so far about a, and .