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Missed Stimulus Check: Should You File a 2020, 2021 Tax Return?

Missed Stimulus Check: Recovery Rebate Credit in 2020 and 2021
Missed economic stimulus check. (Photo: Getty Images)

Some eligible recipients have missed stimulus checks from the federal government since the COVID-19 pandemic began in early 2020 for various reasons. 

If you missed a stimulus check or received less than you were entitled to, you may be wondering what to do next.

Missed Stimulus Check: Recovery Rebate Credit in 2020 and 2021

Since the pandemic began, most Americans have gotten three stimulus checks so far. (Photo: Getty Images)

Missed Stimulus Check: Who is Eligible For This Claim?

Marca said you can still claim your benefits if you have a missed stimulus check. The catch is that you have to submit a tax return for the relevant year if you have yet to get the full amount of any of the first three stimulus checks the federal government permitted. 

In other words, even if we are now in 2023 when returns are being taken for the 2022 tax year, you would need to either submit a 2020 tax return or a 2021 tax return. 

Understanding that these previous stimulus payments were approved and issued throughout several tax years is crucial. So, King 5 News said you would need to submit separate tax returns for the 2020 and 2021 tax years if you have missed the stimulus check. Because only submitting a 2020 return allows you to claim the first two installments, and only filing a 2021 return allows you to claim the third payment. 

The good news is that The Motley Fool mentioned you may submit a late return without paying the penalty, provided you did not owe any taxes for these tax years. You won’t suffer any negative effects if you complete your paperwork and request any due refunds, including any unpaid stimulus funds. 

Also, you may submit an amended return if you submitted a return but missed stimulus check.

ALSO READ: 2023 Tax Season: Income Tax What and How it Works?

Eligibility Check

You must know the tax year and amount of the payments you did receive in order to precisely calculate the credit in order to determine whether you are qualified to obtain the Recovery Rebate Credit for 2020 or 2021 to make up for missed stimulus check. The Form 1040 Recovery Rebate Credit Worksheet, which may be located on the last page of the return, or your tax preparation software, according to the IRS, can be used to compute the credit. 

You may check to see whether you may still get your missed stimulus check by: 

Your web profile: Visit the Tax Records page of your IRS online account to see the sum of your first, second, and third stimulus check amounts. 

Tax Notices: The IRS delivered the following notices to the listed addresses: 

  • The first Economic Impact Payment for the 2020 tax year is indicated in Notification 1444. 
  • A second Economic Impact Payment advance for the 2020 tax year is announced in Notification 1444-B. 
  • The third Economic Impact Payment advance for the tax year 2021 is described in Notification 1444-C.

Also, the IRS issued letters to more than 9 million taxpayers who seemed to be eligible for the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit but had not included it on their federal tax return in the fall. 

The IRS advises that if you are entitled to a 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit but failed to claim it on your initial 2021 federal tax return, you must submit an updated return in order to do so. 

You may still be able to submit Form 1040-X online if you electronically submitted initial 2021 return but need to file an updated return to claim your missed stimulus check. You must send the IRS a paper copy of the form if you didn’t file online. To find out where your amended return is, use the Where’s My Amended Return? tool.

RELATED ARTICLE: 2023 Tax Season: IRS Already Issued More than $87 Billion Tax Refunds

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