2021 Recovery Rebate Credit — Topic H: Correcting issues after the 2021 tax return is filed

 

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. DO NOT report any information regarding your first or second Economic Impact Payment or 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit on your 2021 tax return.

A1.  Yes, if you didn't claim the credit on your original tax return you will need to file a Form 1040-X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, to claim it. The IRS will not calculate the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit for you if you did not enter any amount on your original tax return, or you entered $0.
Use the Interactive Tax Assistant, Should I File an Amended Return?, to help determine if you should amend your original tax return.

If you need to file an amended return – even if you don’t usually file taxes -  to claim the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit, use the worksheet in the 2021 instructions for Form 1040 and 1040-SR to determine the amount of your credit. Enter the amount on the Refundable Credits section of the Form 1040-X and include "Recovery Rebate Credit" in the Explanation of Changes section.

If you filed your 2021 return electronically and need to file an amended return, you may be able to file Form 1040-X electronically.

If you did not file your 2021 return electronically, you will need to submit a paper version of the Form 1040-X and should follow the instructions for preparing and mailing the paper form.

Use the Where's My Amended Return? online tool to check the status of your amended return. The tool works for paper and electronic amended returns.

DO NOT file an amended tax return if you entered an incorrect amount for the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit on your tax return. If you entered an amount other than $0 on line 30 but made a mistake in calculating the amount, the IRS will calculate the correct amount of the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit, make the correction to your tax return, and continue processing your return. If a correction is needed, there may be a delay in processing your return and the IRS will send you a notice explaining any change made.

To check the status of your refund from your original return, check Where's My Refund?

A2. DO NOT file an amended tax return with the IRS. If you entered an amount other than $0 on line 30 but made a mistake in calculating the amount, the IRS will calculate the correct amount of the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit, make the correction to your tax return, and continue processing your return. If a correction is needed, there may be a delay in processing your return and the IRS will send you a notice explaining any change made.

If you agree with the changes we made, no response or action is required.

If you disagree, you can call us at the toll-free number listed on the top right corner of your notice.

If the IRS agrees to make a change to the amount of Recovery Rebate Credit you are owed and it results in a refund, you may check the status of your refund from your original return using Where's My Refund?

If you did not enter an amount on line 30 of your 2021 Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR or entered $0, see I'm eligible for a 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit but did not claim it on my 2021 tax return. Do I need to amend my 2021 tax return?

A3. No, the IRS will not reject your tax return if you made an error in calculating your 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit. DO NOT file an amended tax return with the IRS.

If you entered an amount greater than $0 on line 30 and made a mistake on the amount, the IRS will calculate the correct amount of the Recovery Rebate Credit, make the correction to your tax return and continue processing your return. If a correction is needed, there may be a delay in processing your return and the IRS will send you a notice explaining any change made.

If the IRS agrees to make a change to the amount of Recovery Rebate Credit you are owed and it results in a refund, you may check the status of your refund from your original return using Where's My Refund?

A4. If you agree with the changes we made, no response is required.

If you disagree, you can call us at the toll-free number listed on the top right corner of your notice.

A5. If you filed a 2021 return and checked the box stating you can be claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer, you do not qualify for the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit. To claim the 20201 Recovery Rebate Credit, you cannot be a dependent of another person. 

If you agree with the changes we made, no response or action is required. The notice is informing you that the IRS already adjusted your return and disallowed the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit.

If you disagree, you can call us at the toll-free number listed on the top right corner of your notice.

A6. If you, your spouse, and qualifying children have a valid Social Security number and entered it on your return, compare the number and name entered with what is on the Social Security card. If this information does not match or it was left blank on your 2021 return, the amount associated with that identification number would be denied.

If you agree with the changes we made, no response or action is required.

If you disagree, read the following to help determine if any action is needed:

  • If you identify an error in the tax return entry, contact the IRS at the number provided on your notice and have a copy of the Social Security card(s) available.
  • If the information entered on the 2021 tax return matches the Social Security card or you have recently changed your name and did not update it with the Social Security Administration (SSA), please contact the SSA to confirm the information they have on file is accurate.  

If one spouse has not been issued a Social Security number by the due date of your return (including extensions) and you file a joint return, your 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit should not include the portion for the spouse who does not have the required Social Security number, unless one of you was an active member of the U.S. Armed Forces in 2021. 

If one of you was an active member of the U.S. Armed Forces in 2021 and you were denied the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit for the spouse without the required Social Security number, contact the IRS and have a copy of your 2021 military Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, available for further verification.  A contact phone number for assistance is on the top right corner of your letter or notice.

You are allowed up to $1,400 for a qualifying dependent claimed on your return, even if neither you nor your spouse (if married) has a Social Security number. If your dependent does not have a valid SSN or an Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number (ATIN) issued by the IRS, you are not allowed any 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit for the dependent. However, if an SSN or ATIN is issued to your dependent, contact the IRS with their SSN or ATIN to have the 2021 additional credit issued. A contact phone number for assistance is on the top right corner of your letter or notice.

A7. If your dependent has a valid Social Security number or an Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number issued by the IRS and you forgot to enter it on your return, call us at the phone number on the top right corner of your letter or notice. Have a copy of the Social Security cards or ATIN available.
If you agree with the changes we made, no response or action is required.

A8. Compare the information you entered on your 2021 return for your dependent against the Social Security card. If the name and number entered on the return does not match what is on the card, the credit will be denied for that dependent. If you agree with the changes we made, no response or action is required.

If you identify an error in the tax return entry and therefore disagree with the changes, contact the IRS at the number provided on your notice and have a copy of the Social Security card(s) available.

If the information entered on the tax return matches the Social Security card or you have recently changed your dependent’s last name and did not update it with the Social Security Administration (SSA), please contact the SSA prior to contacting the IRS to confirm that the information they have on file is accurate.  

A9. If your dependent does not meet the qualifying dependent requirements for a 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit, you do not need to take any action or call the IRS. The IRS has already adjusted your credit and notice is to inform you of the change.
If you disagree, you can call us at the toll-free number listed on the top right corner of your notice. 
For additional eligibility information, see Eligibility Requirements:  Who’s considered a qualifying dependent for the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit? 

A10. The 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit has the same income limitations as the third Economic Impact Payments. No credit is allowed if the adjusted gross income (AGI) amount on line 11 of your 2021 Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR is at least:

  • $160,000 if married and filing a joint return or if filing as a qualifying widow or widower
  • $120,000 if filing as head of household or
  • $80,000 for all others.

Your 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit amount will be reduced if the adjusted gross income (AGI) amount is less than these amounts above but is more than:

  • $150,000 if married and filing a joint return or filing as a qualifying widow(er)
  • $112,500 if filing as head of household or
  • $75,000 for all others.

You do not need to take any action; the IRS has already adjusted your credit. The notice was to inform you of the change. No further action or calls are necessary. 

If you disagree, you can call us at the toll-free number listed on the top right corner of your notice.