Recovery Rebate Credit — Topic C: Claiming the 2020 Credit

These FAQs were released to the public in Fact Sheet 2022-02 PDF, January 7, 2022.

If you didn't get the full first and second Economic Impact Payment, you may be eligible to claim the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit and need to file a 2020 tax return to claim it.

If you did not qualify for the full third Economic Impact Payment or got less than the full amount, see Questions and Answers About the Third Economic Impact Payment – Topic H: Reconciling on Your 2021 Tax Return.

A1. If you didn’t qualify for the first and second Economic Impact Payments or did not receive the full amounts, you may be eligible for the Recovery Rebate Credit based on your 2020 tax information.  You must file a 2020 tax return to claim a Recovery Rebate Credit, even if you don’t usually file a tax return.

The Recovery Rebate Credit Worksheet in the 2020 Form 1040 and Form 1040-SR instructions PDF can help determine if you are eligible for the credit.

The fastest way to get your tax refund is to have it direct deposited - contactless and free - into your financial account. You can use a bank account, prepaid debit card or mobile app for your direct deposit and will need to provide routing and account numbers.  

If you filed a 2020 tax return and didn't claim the credit on your return but are eligible for it, you must 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.

A2.  Yes. If you did not receive the full amounts of your first or second Economic Impact Payments and are eligible for the Recovery Rebate Credit, you can file your 2020 tax return to claim the credit. Your Recovery Rebate Credit will reduce the amount of tax you owe for 2020 or, if more than the tax you owe, be included in your 2020 tax refund.

Note: If your 2019 tax return has not been processed yet, the IRS won’t send you an Economic Impact Payment since all first and second Economic Impact Payments have been sent out by the IRS.

Avoid refund delays; file a complete and accurate tax return. You will need the amounts of any first or second Economic Impact Payments you received to calculate your 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit. Enter the amounts on the Form 1040 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit Worksheet to calculate your credit amount. See 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit FAQs Topic F: Finding the First and Second Economic Impact Payment Amounts to Calculate the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit.

You must file a 2020 tax return to claim the 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 filed a 2020 tax return and didn't claim the credit on your return but are eligible for it, you must 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.

A3. You must file a 2020 tax return to claim a Recovery Rebate Credit, even if you don’t usually  file a tax return. The Recovery Rebate Credit Worksheet in the 2020 Form 1040 and Form 1040-SR instructions PDF can help  determine if you are eligible for the credit.

The fastest way to get your tax refund is to have it direct deposited - contactless and free - into your financial account. You can use a bank account, prepaid debit card or mobile app for your direct deposit and will need to provide routing and account numbers.

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 filed a 2020 tax return and didn't claim the credit on your return but are eligible for it, you must 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.

A4. If you need help to file your 2020 tax return to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit, there are various types of tax return preparers, including certified public accountants, enrolled agents, attorneys and others who can assist you in filing your return. See Need someone to prepare your tax return? for information on how to choose the right preparer for you.