Recovery Rebate Credit — Topic C: Claiming the Credit

A1. You must file a 2020 tax return to claim a Recovery Rebate Credit even if you are otherwise not required to file a tax return.

File electronically and the tax software will help you figure your Recovery Rebate Credit. Visit IRS.gov/filing for details about IRS Free File, Free File Fillable Forms or finding a trusted tax professional.  

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

Anyone with income of $72,000 or less can file their 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 use a bank account, prepaid debit card or mobile app for your direct deposit and will need to provide routing and account numbers.

A2.  Yes.  If your 2019 return has not completed processing, you can still file your 2020 tax return and claim the Recovery Rebate Credit, if you are eligible. 

Avoid refund delays, file a complete and accurate tax return. File electronically and the tax software will help you figure your Recovery Rebate Credit.

Visit IRS.gov/filing for details about IRS Free FileFree File Fillable Forms or finding a trusted tax professional.  The Recovery Rebate Credit Worksheet in the Form 1040 and Form 1040-SR instructions can also help calculate the credit.

See the Special Instructions to Validate Your 2020 Electronic Tax Return on IRS.gov if you need help.

A3. You must file a 2020 tax return to claim a Recovery Rebate Credit even if you are otherwise not required to file a tax return. The fastest and most accurate way for you is to file is electronically where the tax software will help you figure your Recovery Rebate Credit. Visit IRS.gov/filing for details about IRS Free File, Free File Fillable Forms or finding a trusted tax professional.  The Recovery Rebate Credit Worksheet in the Form Form 1040 and Form 1040-SR instructions can also help  determine if you are eligible for the credit.

Anyone with income of $72,000 or less can file their 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 use a bank account, prepaid debit card or mobile app for your direct deposit and will need to provide routing and account numbers.

R4. If you are unable to or choose not to use the IRS Free File or Free File Fillable Forms 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.