Questions and Answers about the Third-round Economic Impact Payment — Topic G: Receiving My Payment

These updated FAQs were released to the public in Fact Sheet 2022-22PDF, March 25, 2022.

If you didn't receive, or get the full amount of, the third-round 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 and most secure 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 include any information regarding the first and second Economic Impact Payments or the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit on your 2021 return.

The third-round Economic Impact Payment was based on your 2020 tax return or if your 2020 tax return was not processed when the IRS initially determined your eligibility, your 2019 tax return (which includes a tax return filed by completing the Non-Filers tool on IRS.gov). If you did not file a 2020 or 2019 return but were an eligible federal benefit recipient, your payment was based on you being an eligible federal benefit recipient.

If you did not receive a third-round payment, you may be eligible to claim the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit. To claim this credit, you must file a 2021 tax return even if you otherwise are not required to file a return.

If you received less than the full amount in 2021, you may be eligible to claim the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit. To claim this credit, you must file a 2021 tax return even if you otherwise are not required to file a return.

Keep in mind that the Economic Impact Payment amounts varied based on income, filing status and family size. For more information about eligibility, see the Eligibility section.

  • If you filed a 2020 tax return, the IRS used the income, filing status and qualifying dependents from that return to calculate the amount of the third Economic Impact Payment issued to you. If we had not processed your 2020 tax return when we determined eligibility for the third Economic Impact Payment, we used your 2019 tax information. This includes information that you provided by filing a 2019 tax return, through the Non-Filers tool. 
     
  • If you are a federal benefit recipient and did not file a 2020 or 2019 tax return (including by using the Non-Filers tool in 2020), your third payment may have been $1,400 and issued based on information we received from the Social Security Administration or the Department of Veterans Affairs. This $1,400 payment did not include any amounts for your spouse or qualifying dependents.
  • When you file your 2021 tax return, you may be eligible to claim the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit for your spouse and any qualifying children. See Claiming the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit if you aren't required to file a tax return.

If you don't normally file a tax return but you need to file a federal tax return for 2020 and have no income or income of $73,000 or less, you can file your Federal tax return electronically for free through the IRS Free File Program.

No, unless there was an exigent circumstance. If you think the IRS inadvertently served a levy on an account into which your Economic Impact Payment was deposited, contact the IRS within 21 days at the phone number listed on the levy notice to let the IRS know that it has levied on your Economic Impact Payment.

If the account was closed or no longer active, the bank was required to return the deposit and we attempted to issue a check to the address we had on file for you.

If you did not receive your payment in 2021, you may be eligible to claim the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit when you file your 2021 return. The IRS can no longer issue a third-round Economic Impact Payment because the statute required all payments to be made by December 31, 2021.

Possibly. When no banking information was available, before issuing a U.S Treasury check or EIP Card, Treasury's Bureau of Fiscal Service provided IRS account information from agencies issuing benefit payments including the Office of Personnel Management, Railroad Retirement Board, Social Security Administration, Thrift Savings Plan, and Department of Veterans Affairs. The banking information could have been either where a U.S. Government payment was sent or an account where an individual paid the U.S. Government.

We could have received your banking information in a number of ways:

  • Your bank account information is obtained from the most recently filed tax return or information you entered in Get My Payment (which is no longer available). You cannot change your account information.
  • If you did not file a 2020 or 2019 tax return and you received SSA, RRB, SSI, or VA benefits, your third-round Economic Impact Payment may have been sent as a direct deposit, on your Direct Express Card, or by mail, just as you would normally receive your benefits.

When no banking information was available, before issuing a U.S Treasury check or EIP Card, Treasury's Bureau of Fiscal Service provided IRS account information from agencies issuing benefit payments including the Office of Personnel Management, Railroad Retirement Board, Social Security Administration, Thrift Savings Plan, and Department of Veterans Affairs. The banking information was either where a U.S. Government payment was sent or an account where an individual paid the U.S. Government.

If you did not receive your payment in 2021, you may be eligible to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit when you file your 2021 tax return.

In some cases, married taxpayers who file a joint tax return got their third-round payment as two separate payments; half may have come as a direct deposit and the other half may have been mailed to the address we have on file. This is generally the address on the most recent tax return or as updated through the United States Postal Service (USPS).

The second half may have come the same week or within weeks of the first half.

If you received less than the full amount for your third-round Economic Impact Payment, you may claim the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit on your 2021 income tax return to get the remaining amount for which you are eligible.

Yes. The third round of stimulus payments provided under the American Rescue Plan Act were not exempt from garnishment by non-federal creditors under federal law.

Some states and financial institutions have chosen to act to protect these payments, however, and these payments are still protected from offset by the federal government. For example, if a taxpayer has a judgment against them obtained by a private party but also owes assessed federal taxes, the IRS did not subject the payment to offset with respect to the federal taxes. Depending on where the taxpayer lives or banks, however, it is possible that the payment would be subject to garnishment due to the judgment obtained by a private party.

See Were third-round Economic Impact Payments offset if my spouse or I owe past-due child support? for more information about offsets and federal tax liability.

If you are unable to cash the check and must return the payment to the IRS, the payment will be credited back to your account, but cannot be reissued as a direct deposit. If the IRS receives your payment back, you will need to claim the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit when you file your 2021 tax return, if eligible based on your 2021 filing. The IRS can only deposit to a U.S. affiliated bank account.

If you don't have a U.S. affiliated bank to cash a check or receive a deposit, before returning the payment, visit the FDIC website to locate a bank or for more information.

See Returning the Economic Impact Payment for instructions about returning the check.

No. Your eligibility for and amount of third-round Economic Impact Payments were determined based on your originally filed tax return. We will not reevaluate or send more money after applying the unemployment compensation exclusion. If you didn't qualify for the payment or received less than the full amount based on your originally filed 2020 tax return, you may be eligible to claim the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit when you file your 2021 tax return.

For additional information about the unemployment compensation exclusion, see Tax Treatment of Unemployment Compensation.