2021 Recovery Rebate Credit — Topic G: Finding the Third Economic Impact Payment Amount to Calculate 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 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. DO NOT include information regarding your first or second Economic Impact Payment or 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit on your 2021 tax return.

A1. If you didn't qualify for a third Economic Impact Payment or got less than the full amount, you may be eligible to claim the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit based on your 2021 tax year information. If you're eligible, you'll need to file a 2021 tax return even if you don't usually file a tax return. Your 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit will reduce any tax you owe for 2021 or be included in your tax refund.

Anyone eligible to claim the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit needs to know their third Economic Impact Payment amount, including any plus-up payments, to correctly calculate the credit. Spouses filing a joint return for 2021 need to know the payment amounts for both spouses in order to claim the credit.

You don't need to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit on your 2021 tax return if you were issued the full amount of that credit through the third round of Economic Impact Payments. You were issued the full amount of the Recovery Rebate Credit if your third Economic Impact Payment was $1,400 ($2,800 if married filing jointly for 2021) plus $1,400 for each qualifying dependent reported on your 2021 tax return.

If filing your return electronically, the tax preparation software will help you accurately figure your 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit. Visit IRS.gov/filing for details about IRS Free File, Free File Fillable Forms, free VITA or TCE tax preparation sites in your community 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.

A2. You can find the amount of the third Economic Impact Payments in one of the following ways:

  • Your online account. It's an online IRS application that allows you to securely access your individual account information. The amounts of your third Economic Impact Payments are 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 online account to retrieve your separate amounts.
  • Your Notice 1444-C, Your Third Economic Impact Payment, which shows the amount of the third payment. If you received joint payments with your spouse, the letters show the total amount of each payment. If you file separate 2021 tax returns, each of you must enter half of the amount of the payment shown on Notice 1444-C. Individuals who received plus-up payments received a separate Notice 1444-C after your payment was issued.
  • Letter 6475, Your 2021 Economic Impact Payment(s). 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 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 shown on Letter 6475.
  • Your 2021 account transcript, which you can request online or by mail using Get Transcript. You may also call our automated phone transcript service at 800-908-9946 for it be 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 amount of the payment.

A3. There are several possibilities for why your account shows you were issued a third Economic Impact Payment even though you did not receive one.

  • You were issued an EIP Card and inadvertently discarded it not realizing it was your Economic Impact Payment. You may request a free replacement through MetaBank® Customer Service by calling 800-240-8100 and following the prompts for a lost or discarded card. Please see the Economic Impact Payment Information Center — Topic E: EIP Cards for more information.
  • Your payment was made to a bank account or address you shared with a spouse. 

See How do I request a Payment Trace to track my Economic Impact Payment?

  • If your payment was returned by the post office or financial institution and hasn’t been credited back to your account yet. 
  • If none of the scenarios above apply and you never received your payment even though your online account or letter show it was issued to you.

A4. You can access your online account through a secure login at IRS.gov/account. You can also find the online account application by going to the IRS.gov homepage and clicking on "Sign in to your Account".

A5. No, your account online will show only your portion of the payments. Your spouse will need to sign into their own account to retrieve their portion of the payments.

A6. The 2021 Tax Records tab will show the total amount of the third payments you received including any plus-up payments. Any plus up payment will not be shown separately.