IRS information letters about Economic Impact Payments and the Recovery Rebate Credit

FS-2021-06, April 2021

For taxpayers who received a letter from the Internal Revenue Service about their Recovery Rebate Credit, here are answers to frequently asked questions.

Why did I get more than one letter from the IRS about my Economic Impact Payments?

After each of the three Economic Impact Payments is issued, the IRS mails a letter – called a notice − to each recipient's last known address. This notice provides information about the amount of the payment, how the payment was made and how to report any payment that wasn't received.

  • Notice 1444, Your Economic Impact Payment. The IRS mailed this notice within 15 days after the first payment was issued in 2020. Some people received another Notice 1444 if the IRS corrected or issued more than one payment in the first round. Taxpayers who received a Notice 1444 but did not receive their first payment, see the  Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)  about what to do if their second payment is lost, stolen, destroyed or has not been received.
  • Notice 1444-A, You May Need to Act to Claim Your Payment. Last fall, the IRS mailed this letter to people who typically aren't required to file federal income tax returns but may qualify for the first Economic Impact Payment as part of the IRS effort to get the payment to eligible individuals.
  • Notice 1444-B, Your Second Economic Impact Payment. Unlike the Notice 1444, the law that authorized the second payment gave the IRS more time to mail Notice 1444-B to individuals who were issued the second payment. This means they may have received the second payment several weeks before receiving a Notice 1444-B. Taxpayers who received Notice 1444-B but did not receive the second payment, see the FAQs about what to do if their second payment is lost, stolen, destroyed or has not been received.
  • Notice 1444-C, Your 2021 Economic Impact Payment. Later this year, the IRS will mail this letter to people who received a third Economic Impact Payment. This letter should be kept with tax year 2021 records.

Keep any IRS notices received related to the Economic Impact Payments with other tax records. The IRS is unable to issue a copy of the notice if it is lost or never received, even though the payment was received. Taxpayers who don't have their notices can view the amounts of the first and second Economic Impact Payments through their online account.

Some people who received an EIP debit card and still had not activated their card were sent a letter earlier this year reminding them to activate their card or to request a replacement if they accidently threw it away. See the FAQ about this reminder letter.

I made a mistake when calculating the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit on my 2020 return. Will the IRS fix it and let me know?

Yes. The IRS will not reject a tax return if an error was made calculating the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit. If a taxpayer entered an amount on line 30 but made a mistake in calculating the amount, the IRS will calculate the correct amount of the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit, make the correction to the tax return and continue processing it. If a correction is needed, there may be a slight delay in processing the return, and the IRS will send a notice explaining any change made. The Recovery Rebate Credit is included in the tax refund. To check the status of a refund from an original return, check Where's My Refund? There is no need to file an amended tax return with the IRS to correct this error.

I received an IRS letter saying there was an issue with my Recovery Rebate Credit. What do I need to do?

The notice saying the IRS changed the amount of a 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit will also explain the reason for the change. Review the 2020 tax return, the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit requirements and the worksheet in the Form 1040 and Form 1040-SR instructions. The 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit questions and answers provide additional guidance for specific situations addressed in related IRS notices.

I received a letter saying that I did not calculate my 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit correctly. What if I disagree?

Taxpayers who disagree with the IRS calculation should review the notice and the Recovery Rebate Credit questions and answers before contacting the IRS. They provide additional information to explain what errors may have occurred and what information to have available when contacting the IRS.

I'm eligible for a 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit but did not claim it on my 2020 tax return. Do I need to amend my 2020 tax return?

Yes. Those who didn't claim the credit on their 2020 tax return by entering an amount on line 30 of Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR, will need to file a Form 1040-X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. The IRS will not calculate the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit if the taxpayer did not enter any amount on their original 2020 tax return.

Those who need to file an amended return to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit should use the worksheet on page 59 of the 2020 instructions for Form 1040 and 1040-SR to determine the amount of the credit. Enter the amount on the Refundable Credits section of the 1040-X and include "Recovery Rebate Credit" in the Explanation of Changes section.

Those who filed their 2020 return electronically and need to file an amended return may be able to file Form 1040-X electronically.

Taxpayers who did not file their 2020 return electronically will need to submit a paper version of the Form 1040-X and should follow the instructions for preparing and mailing the paper form.

Those filing Form 1040-X electronically or on paper can use the Where's My Amended Return? online tool to check the status of their amended return.

For more information, visit and the frequently asked questions by topic.