Tax filers have just over 2 weeks to file before Tax Day on Monday, April 18. For now, the IRS hasn’t announced an extension.
The tax season gives eligible people who never got the $1,400 payment the chance to claim it.
Since the IRS is no longer issuing the Economic Impact Payments, people who are missing a stimulus payment, or got less than the amount they’re eligible for, will have to claim a Recovery Rebate Credit on their 2020 or 2021 federal tax returns, according to the Internal Revenue Service.
Most eligible people have already received their stimulus payments and won’t need to include anything about the payment when they file their 2021 tax return.
The IRS says it has issued more than 175 million third-round payments worth more than $400 billion to people across the country. Most of those payments were sent out in the spring and early summer of 2021.
Still, there are many who haven’t gotten their payments.
Authorities have identified 644,705 potentially eligible people who had not received payments totaling $1.6 billion, according to a report issued last week by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.
What to do if you never received the third payment
The IRS encourages residents to double check their bank accounts first to make sure they never got the third payment, especially in early spring and summer of 2021.
People can also access their IRS Online Account to view the total amount of the third-round Economic Impact Payment issued to them. For married couples filing jointly, each person will need to log into their own online account.
Once people confirm they never got the payment, and their IRS online accounts show a payment amount greater than $0, or if they got a Notice 1444-C or Letter 6475, they should contact the IRS as soon as possible to see if a payment trace is needed.
But they do not need to wait until their trace is complete to file their 2021 tax return, officials said.
When completing the Recovery Rebate Credit worksheet, taxpayers have two options: either use the amount on the Letter 6475 (or EIP 3 amount from the online account) to calculate the recovery rebate credit amount on line 30, or use the amount of stimulus payment the taxpayer believes they received to calculate the rebate credit amount on line 30. (Details on that can be found here.)
Those who contact the IRS to trace the stimulus payment amount will receive notification of the results. If it is found that the taxpayer didn’t get the money, the IRS will adjust the recovery rebate credit amount on the tax return and issue any refund.
If people make a mistake calculating the recovery rebate credit and claim an amount on line 30 for the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit, the IRS will have to correct the amount and send a notice about the changes made. If that happens, there may be a delay in processing the return, officials said.
What if I already filed my taxes?
An amended return may be needed to claim the credit if IRS records show no payment was issued.
For eligible people who didn’t claim a recovery rebate credit on their 2021 tax return (so line 30 is blank or $0), they will need to file a Form 1040-X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return to claim the remaining amount of stimulus money — if IRS records don’t show that they were issued a payment.
This includes people who think they didn’t get the full amount of their third-round Economic Impact Payment because their circumstances in 2021 were different than they were in 2020.
People trying to figure out if they should amend their original tax return can use this online tool.
More details on claim the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit can be found here.