Recovery Rebate Credit

Missing a stimulus payment? Find out how you may be eligible to claim a Recovery Rebate Credit on your 2020 or 2021 federal tax return if you didn't get an Economic Impact Payment or got less than the full amount.

The first and second rounds of Economic Impact Payments were issued in 2020 and early 2021. The first two rounds of Economic Impact Payments were advance payments of the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit claimed on a 2020 tax return.

The third round of Economic Impact Payments was issued starting in March 2021 and continue through December 2021. The third round of Economic Impact Payments, including the plus-up payments, were advance payments of the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit claimed on a 2021 tax return.

Most eligible people already received the payments. However, people who are missing stimulus payments should review the information below to determine their eligibility and whether they need to claim a Recovery Rebate Credit for tax year 2020 or 2021.

Missing first and second payments may only be claimed on a 2020 tax return. Missing third payments may only be claimed on a 2021 tax return. It is critical that eligible individuals claiming a Recovery Rebate Credit understand that the advance payments applied to different tax years. Depending on which advance payment is missing – the first, second or third payment – you will file either a 2020 or 2021 tax return to claim a Recovery Rebate Credit.

You will need the tax year(s) and amount(s) of the Economic Impact Payments you received to accurately calculate the Recovery Rebate Credit. Enter the amount in your tax preparation software or in the Form 1040 Recovery Rebate Credit Worksheet to calculate your credit.

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

Your Online Account: Securely access your individual tax information with an IRS online account to view your first, second and third Economic Impact Payment amounts under the related tax year tab.

IRS letters: We mailed these letters to the address we have on file.

  • Notice 1444: Shows the first Economic Impact Payment advanced for tax year 2020
  • Notice 1444-B: Shows the second Economic Impact Payment advanced for tax year 2020
  • Notice 1444-C: Shows the third Economic Impact Payment advanced for tax year 2021

Letter 6475: In early 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 the full amount of the third Economic Impact Payment, you don't need to include any information about your payment when you file your 2021 tax return.

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.

Any third Economic Impact Payments you received will reduce the amount of the credit you're eligible for. You will need the total amount of your third Economic Impact payment and any plus-up payments to claim the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit and avoid a processing delay that can slow a tax refund.

Do not include amounts of missing first or second stimulus payments on your 2021 tax return. Instead, see How to Claim the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit.

File your 2021 tax return electronically in 2022 and the tax software will help you figure your 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit. Your Recovery Rebate Credit will reduce the 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.

All first and second Economic Impact Payments have been sent out by the IRS. If you didn't get a first and second Economic Impact Payment or got less than the full amounts, you may be eligible to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit by filing a 2020 tax return if you have not filed yet or by amending your 2020 tax return if it's already been processed. Your Recovery Rebate Credit on your 2020 tax return will reduce the amount of tax you owe for 2020 or be included in your tax refund. Here's how eligible individuals claim the credit:

If you did not file a 2020 tax return or successfully use the Child Tax Credit Non-filer Sign-up Tool:

File a 2020 tax return to claim the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit even if you don't usually file a tax return.

See the 2020 FAQs Recovery Rebate Credit — Topic A: Claiming the Recovery Rebate Credit if you aren't required to file a tax return.

If you did file a 2020 tax return or successfully used the Child Tax Credit Non-filer Sign-up Tool and did not claim a Recovery Rebate Credit:

File an amended return to claim the credit.

See the 2020 FAQs Recovery Rebate Credit — Topic G: Correcting issues after the 2020 tax return is filed.

If you filed a 2020 tax return or successfully used the Child Tax Credit Non-filer Sign-up Tool and you received a letter from the IRS about your 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit:

If you agree with the changes we made, you don't need to reply. Keep the letter with your tax records.

If you disagree, call us at the toll-free number listed on the top right corner of your notice. If you received a letter from the IRS about other issues relating to your tax return, you should follow the instructions in the letter.

See the 2020 FAQs Recovery Rebate Credit — Topic G: Correcting issues after the 2020 tax return is filed.

If your 2020 return or information has not yet been processed

Do not file a second tax return. Some returns need special handling to correct errors or credit amounts, which can delay processing by up to 120 days. The IRS is having to correct significantly more errors on 2020 tax returns than in previous years. If we correct the credit claimed on your return, we will send you an explanation. Check Where's My Refund? for your personal refund status.

See the IRS Operations Status page for more information.  

More Information

 

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