2021 Recovery Rebate Credit — Topic A: General Information

 

These FAQs were released to the public in Fact Sheet 2022-04 PDF, January 13, 2022.

If you didn't get the full amount of the third Economic Impact Payment, you may be eligible to claim the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit and must file a 2021 tax return – even if you don't usually file taxes - to claim it. Your 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit will reduce any tax you owe for 2021 or be included in your tax refund.

If your income is $73,000 or less, you can file your federal tax return electronically for free through the IRS  Free File  Program. The fastest way to get your tax refund is to file electronically and have it  direct deposited , contactless and free, into your financial account. You can have your refund direct deposited into your bank account, prepaid debit card or mobile app and will need to provide routing and account numbers.

If you didn't get the full amounts of the first and second Economic Impact Payments, you may be eligible to claim the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit and must file a 2020 tax return – even if you don't usually file taxes - to claim it.

A1. 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit: The first two rounds of Economic Impact Payments were advance payments of 2020 Recovery Rebate Credits claimed on a 2020 tax return. The IRS issued the first and second rounds of Economic Impact Payments in 2020 and in early 2021. See 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit Questions and Answers.

2021 Recovery Rebate Credit: The third round of Economic Impact Payments, including the plus-up payments, were advance payments of the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit claimed on a 2021 tax return. The IRS began issuing the third round of Economic Impact Payments in March 2021 and continued through December 2021. In addition, the third payments differ from the earlier payments in several respects:

  • Payment amounts are different. The maximum credit is $1,400 per person, including all qualifying dependents claimed on a tax return. Typically, this means a single person with no dependents will have a maximum credit of $1,400, while married taxpayers who file a joint return that claims two qualifying dependents will have a maximum credit of $5,600. 
  • Qualifying dependents expanded. Unlike the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credits and first two rounds of Economic Impact Payments, the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit and third round of Economic Impact Payments include additional amounts for all dependents, not just children under 17. Eligible individuals will get up to $1,400 for each qualifying dependent claimed on their return, including older relatives like college students, adults with disabilities, parents, and grandparents.
  • Income thresholds changed. The credit amount begins to be reduced at the same income thresholds as the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credits, for example with adjusted gross income of more than $75,000 if filing as single or $150,000 if filing as married filing jointly. However, the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit amount is fully reduced to $0 more quickly. For example, individuals can't claim any credit with adjusted gross income of $80,000 or more if filing as single or $160,000 or more for if filing as married filing jointly. Due to these new income limitations, some individuals won't be eligible to claim the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit even if they received a 2020 stimulus payment.

A2. Some eligible individuals received more than one third Economic Impact Payment.

The IRS sent additional or plus-up payments to people who:

  • Received a third Economic Impact Payment based on a 2019 tax return or information received from the Social Security Administration, Railroad Retirement Board, or the Department of Veterans Affairs, and
  • Filed a 2020 tax return which allowed a greater third Economic Impact Payment but only if the 2020 return was processed by Dec 1, 2021. 

For example, you may have gotten a plus-up payment if your income was less in 2020 compared to 2019 or you added a dependent on your 2020 return.

We automatically evaluated your eligibility for plus-up payments after we processed your 2020 return. We sent plus-up payments separately from your 2020 tax refund and previous Economic Impact Payments. We issued weekly plus-up payments to eligible taxpayers until December 31, 2021, the deadline set by law to make Economic Impact Payments.

Individuals who did not receive the full amount of the third Economic Impact Payment, including the plus-up payments, may be eligible to claim the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit on their 2021 tax return.

A3. Yes, the IRS mailed Notice 1444-C, Your Third Economic Impact Payment, at the address we had on file for you. The IRS sent separate letters to people who received a plus-up payment.

'The IRS will send Letter 6475, Your 2021 Economic Impact Payment(s), in early 2022 to confirm the total amount of the third Economic Impact Payment and any plus-up payments you received for tax year 2021.

Please keep any IRS notices/letters you receive related to the third round of Economic Impact Payments with your tax records and refer to it when you file your 2021 tax return.

A4. You should return the payment as described below.

If the payment was a paper check:

  1. Write "Void" in the endorsement section on the back of the check.
  2. Mail the voided Treasury check immediately to the appropriate IRS location listed below.
  3. Don't staple, bend, or paper clip the check.
  4. Include a brief explanation stating the reason for returning the check. 

If the payment was a paper check and you have cashed it, or if the payment was a direct deposit:

  1. Submit a personal check, money order, etc., immediately to the appropriate IRS location listed below.
  2. Make the check/money order made payable to "U.S. Treasury"
  3. Write Third EIP, and the Social Security Number (or individual taxpayer identification number) of the recipient of the check.
  4. Include a brief explanation of the reason for returning the EIP.

For your paper check, here are the IRS mailing addresses to use based on the state:

If you live in…  then mail to this address
Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont Andover Internal Revenue Service

310 Lowell St.
Andover, MA 01810

Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Virginia Atlanta Internal Revenue Service

4800 Buford Hwy
Chamblee, GA 30341

Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Texas Austin Internal Revenue Service 3651 S Interregional Hwy 35

Austin, TX 78741

New York Brookhaven Internal Revenue Service

1040 Waverly Ave.
Holtsville, NY 11742

Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming Fresno Internal Revenue Service

3211 S Northpointe Dr.

Fresno, CA 93725

Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, Ohio, West Virginia Kansas City Internal Revenue Service

333 W Pershing Rd.
Kansas City, MO 64108

Alabama, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee Memphis Internal Revenue Service

5333 Getwell Rd.
Memphis, TN 38118

District of Columbia, Idaho, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island Philadelphia Internal Revenue Service

2970 Market St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104

A foreign country, U.S. possession or territory, or use an APO or FPO address, or file Form 2555 or 4563, or are a dual-status alien. Austin Internal Revenue Service

3651 S Interregional Hwy 35
Austin, TX 78741

A5. If you received your EIP as a debit card and want to return the money to the IRS and NOT have the payment re-issued, send the card along with a brief explanation stating you don't want the payment and do not want the payment re-issued to:

Money Network Cardholder Services
2900 Westside Parkway
Alpharetta, GA 30004