2021 Recovery Rebate Credit — Topic D: Claiming the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit

 

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 amount of the first and second Economic Impact Payment, 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. You must file a 2021 tax return – even if you don't usually file taxes - to claim a Recovery Rebate Credit, even if you are otherwise not required to file a tax return. Your 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit will reduce any tax you owe for 2021 or be included in your tax refund.

File electronically and tax preparation software will help you figure your Recovery Rebate Credit. The Recovery Rebate Credit Worksheet in the 2021 Form 1040 and Form 1040-SR instructions can also help determine if you are eligible for the credit.

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.

A2. Yes. If you did not receive the full amount of the third Economic Impact Payment and you are eligible for the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit, you can file your 2021 tax return – even if you don't usually file taxes - to claim the credit even if your 2020 tax return hasn't finished processing. Your 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit will reduce any tax you owe for 2021 or be included in your tax refund.

NOTE: By law, the IRS cannot issue third Economic Impact Payments after December 31, 2021.

Avoid processing delays that can slow your refund by filing a complete and accurate tax return. You will need the total amount of your third Economic Impact payment and any plus-up payments to claim the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit, which you can find in your Online Account. Any third Economic Impact Payments you received will reduce the amount of the credit you claim on your tax return.

File your 2021 tax return electronically and the tax preparation software will help you figure your 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit. Your Recovery Rebate Credit will reduce any tax you owe for 2021 or be included in your tax refund, and can be direct deposited into your financial account. You can use a bank account, prepaid debit card or alternative financial products for your direct deposit. You will need to provide routing and account numbers.

Visit IRS.gov/filing for details about IRS Free FileFree File Fillable Forms or finding a trusted tax professional. The Recovery Rebate Credit Worksheet in the 2021 Form 1040 and Form 1040-SR instructions can also help calculate the credit.

See the Special Instructions to Validate Your 2021 Electronic Tax Return on IRS.gov if you need help.

A3. Yes. If you did not receive the full amount of the third Economic Impact Payment, you must file a 2021 tax return to claim a 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit even if you are otherwise not required to file. This includes amounts for your spouse, if eligible, and qualifying dependents reported on your 2021 tax return for whom you did not receive a third payment.

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.

A4. You must file a 2021 tax return – to claim a 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit, even if you are otherwise not required to file a tax return. Your 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit will reduce any tax you owe for 2021 or be included in your tax refund.

The fastest and most accurate way for you is to file is electronically where the tax preparation software will help you figure your 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit. Visit IRS.gov/filing for details about IRS Free File, Free File Fillable Forms or finding a trusted tax professional. The Recovery Rebate Credit Worksheet in the 2021 Form 1040 and Form 1040-SR instructions can also help determine if you are eligible to claim the credit.

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.

A5. If you are unable to or choose not to use the IRS Free File or Free File Fillable Forms to file your 2021 tax return – even if you don't usually file taxes - to claim the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit, there are various types of tax return preparers, including certified public accountants, enrolled agents, attorneys and others who can assist you in filing your return. See Need someone to prepare your tax return? For information on how to choose the right preparer for you.

A6. To find the amount of your Economic Impact Payments, check:

Your Online Account: This is an online IRS application that allows you to securely access your individual account information. The amount of your third Economic Impact Payment is shown on the Tax Records tab/page under the section "Economic Impact Payment Information". If you and your spouse received joint payments, each of you will need to sign into your own account to retrieve your separate amounts.

IRS letters: We mailed Notice 1444-C that shows the third Economic Impact Payment to the address we have on file. If you received a joint payment with your spouse, the letter shows the total amount of payments. If you file separate 2021 tax returns, each of you must enter half of the amount of the payment.

Letter 6475: In January 2022, we'll send this letter confirming the total amount of the third Economic Impact Payment and any plus-up payments you received for tax year 2021. If you received joint payments with your spouse, the letter shows the total amount of payment. If you file separate 2021 tax returns, each of you must enter half of the amount of the payment.

Your 2021 account transcript: You can request this online or by mail using Get Transcript. You may also call us at 800-908-9946 to have one sent by mail or you can submit Form 4506-T. If you received joint payments with your spouse, the transcript shows the total amount of each payment under the primary taxpayer. If you file separate 2021 tax returns, each of you must enter half of the amount of the payment.