Questions and Answers about the Third-round Economic Impact Payment — Topic B: Eligibility and Calculation of the Third 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.

If you were claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return for 2020, you were not eligible for the third-round Economic Impact Payment. If no one can claim you as a dependent for 2021 and you are otherwise eligible, you can claim the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit, and must file a 2021 tax return to claim the credit.

Generally, if you were a U.S. citizen or U.S. resident alien during 2021, you were eligible for $1,400 ($2,800  for a joint return), plus $1,400 for each qualifying dependent, if you (and your spouse if filing a joint return) were not a dependent of another taxpayer on a 2020 tax return, have a valid Social Security number (SSN) (see exception when married filing jointly and exception for qualified dependents) and your adjusted gross income (AGI) did not exceed:

  • $150,000 if married and filing a joint return or if filing as a qualifying widow or widower
  • $112,500 if filing as head of household or
  • $75,000 for eligible individuals using any other filing statuses, such as single filers and married people filing separate returns.

Payments were phased out – or reduced – above those AGI amounts. This means taxpayers did not receive a third payment if their AGI exceeded:

  • $160,000 if married and filing a joint return or if filing as a qualifying widow or widower
  • $120,000 if filing as head of household or
  • $80,000 for eligible individuals using other filing statuses, such as single filers and married people filing separate returns.

You were not eligible for a payment if any of the following apply:

  • You could be claimed as a dependent on another taxpayer’s 2020 tax return
  • You were a nonresident alien.
  • You did not have a valid SSN issued to you by the due date of your tax return (including an extension to October 15 if you requested it).

Also, payments were not made to estates or trusts or for individuals who died before January 1, 2021. 

Someone who died before January 1, 2021, is not eligible for a third-round payment.

If you filed a joint return in 2020 and your spouse died before January 1, 2021, we did not include the deceased spouse in the calculation of the third payment. If you're a surviving spouse and were eligible for the third payment, we'll issue up to $1,400 for you and $1,400 for any qualifying dependents.

If you can't cash or deposit a joint payment because it was issued to you and a spouse who died in 2021:

If you can't cash or deposit the payment on behalf of any other individual who died in 2021:

A person who’s a qualifying resident alien with a valid Social Security number was eligible for the payment only if he or she is a qualifying resident alien in 2021 and not claimed as a dependent of another taxpayer. A nonresident alien in 2021 wasn’t eligible for the payment. An alien who received a payment but was not a qualifying resident alien for 2021 should return the payment to the IRS by following the instructions as described in Returning the Economic Impact Payment for instructions.

Individuals were not denied Economic Impact Payments solely because they were incarcerated.  An incarcerated individual may have been issued a payment if all eligibility requirements were met and the individual filed a 2020 or 2019 tax return that was processed by the IRS.  

If you file jointly with your spouse and only one individual had a valid Social Security number (SSN), you generally were eligible to receive payments of up to $1,400 for the spouse with a valid SSN and up to $1,400 for each qualifying dependent claimed on the tax return.

If neither spouse has a valid SSN, you were generally eligible only to receive up to $1,400 for each qualifying dependent claimed on the tax return.

A valid SSN for the third-round Economic Impact Payment is one that is issued by the Social Security Administration on or before the due date of your tax return (including an extension to October 15 if you request it).

Active Military: If either spouse was an active member of the U.S. Armed Forces at any time during the taxable year, only one spouse needed to have a valid SSN for the couple to receive up to $2,800 for themselves, plus up to $1,400 for each qualifying dependent.

If you could be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s 2020 tax return, then you cannot claim a dependent on your tax return. You also were not eligible for the third-round Economic Impact Payment.

The third payment included up to an additional $1,400 for each dependent you claimed on your 2020 tax return (or your 2019 return if a 2020 return had not been filed or processed) with a valid social security number (SSN) or Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number issued by the IRS. A valid SSN for the third Economic Impact Payment is one that is issued by the Social Security Administration on or before the due date of your tax return (including an extension to October 15 if you request it).  An individual was your dependent if he or she was your qualifying child or a qualifying relative.

A child was your qualifying child if the following conditions were met:

  • Relationship to the individual who’s eligible for the payment: The child is your son, daughter, stepchild, eligible foster child, brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister, half-brother, half-sister, or a descendant of any of them (for example, grandchild, niece, or nephew).
  • Child's age: The child was:
    • under age 19 at the end of the tax year,
    • under age 24 at the end of the tax year, a student, and younger than you, or
    • any age and permanently and totally disabled.
  • Child's citizenship: The child’s a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, U.S. resident alien, or a resident of Canada or Mexico.
  • Child's residency: The child lived with you for more than half of the tax year.
  • Support for child: The child didn’t provide over half of his or her own support for the tax year.
  • Child's tax return: The child doesn’t file a joint return for the year (or files it only to claim a refund of withheld income tax or estimated tax paid).

A person was your qualifying relative if the following conditions were met:

  • The person can't be your qualifying child or the qualifying child of any other taxpayer.
  • The person either is related to you in one of several ways or lived with you all year as a member of your household (and your relationship must not violate local law).
  • The person is a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, U.S. resident alien, or a resident of Canada or Mexico.
  • The person's gross income for the year must be less than $4,200 for 2019 tax returns or $4,300 for 2020 tax returns. (Exceptions exist if the person is disabled.)
  • You must provide more than half of the person's total support for the year. (Exceptions exist for multiple support agreements, children of divorced or separated parents, and parents who live apart.)
  • The person doesn’t file a joint return for the year (or files it only to claim a refund of withheld income tax or estimated tax paid).

If claiming the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit see Who is eligible for the Recovery Rebate Credit?

No, third-round Economic Impact Payments in 2021 did not include an  amount for children added to your family during 2021 because your third-round Economic Impact Payments were based on information from your 2020 or 2019 tax return.

Important: If your new child is your dependent in 2021, you may claim a 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit for the child on your 2021 tax return if all eligibility requirements are satisfied. In addition, if all eligibility requirements are satisfied, you may claim on your 2021 tax return a Child Tax Credit of up to $3,600 for a new child or a Credit for Other Dependents of up to $500 for dependents who are not qualifying children for the Child Tax Credit.

To claim a person as a dependent on your 2021 tax return, that person must be your qualifying child or qualifying relative. See Whom May I Claim as a Dependent? to determine if you can claim someone as a dependent.

No, the payment did not include an additional amount for this dependent because third-round Economic Impact Payments were based only on information from your 2020 or 2019 tax return.

Important: You may claim a 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit for the dependent on your 2021 tax return if all eligibility requirements are satisfied. In addition, if all eligibility requirements are satisfied, you may claim on your 2021 tax return a Child Tax Credit of up to $3,600 for a new child or a Credit for Other Dependents of up to $500 for dependents who are not qualifying children for the Child Tax Credit.

To claim a person as a dependent on your 2021 tax return, that person must be your qualifying child or qualifying relative. See Whom May I Claim as a Dependent? to determine if you can claim someone as a dependent.

In many cases, the answer is yes. But special rules in the law applied to these five U.S. territories. In general, the tax authorities in each U.S. territory made payments to eligible residents. If you’re a resident of one of these U.S. territories with questions about a payment, you should contact your local tax authority.

Resident of a U.S territory: If you received a payment from the IRS and a U.S. territory tax agency and you’re a resident of a U.S. territory for the 2021 tax year, please consult with your U.S. territory tax agency concerning information about an incorrect or duplicate payment.

Not a resident of a U.S. territory: If you received a payment from more than one jurisdiction and you’re NOT a resident of a U.S. territory for the 2021 tax year, you should return any incorrect or duplicate payment received from the IRS following the instructions about repayments. Go to Topic I: Returning the Third Economic Impact Payment for instructions. Do not contact the territory for an IRS-issued payment.

Citizenship or residency status in the Freely Associated States, by itself, didn’t entitle you to a payment. However, if you’re a resident of a U.S. territory for the tax year 2021 for U.S. territory income tax purposes, you may have been eligible for a payment from the U.S. territory tax agency. To determine whether you’re eligible for a payment, consult with your U.S. territory tax agency. Alternatively, if you’re not a resident of a U.S. territory for the tax year 2021 but you’re a U.S. citizen or U.S. resident for federal income tax purposes, you may be eligible for a payment from the IRS.

Resident of a U.S. territory: You shouldn’t receive a payment from both the IRS and a U.S. territory tax agency. If you received a payment from more than one jurisdiction and you’re a resident of a U.S. territory for the 2021 tax year, please consult with your U.S. territory tax agency concerning information about payments received, including any incorrect or duplicate payment.

Not a resident of a U.S. territory: If you’ve received a payment from more than one jurisdiction and you’re NOT a resident of a U.S. territory for the 2021 tax year, you should return any incorrect or duplicate payment received from the IRS following the instructions about repayments. Go to Topic I: Returning the Third Economic Impact Payment for instructions. Do not contact the territory for an IRS-issued payment.