The first stimulus check was mailed in April 2020 and paid out $ 1,200 per person.
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Millions of people have never received a stimulus check and it is possible that the IRS made a mistake when it was responsible for sending the first payments since the federal agency used the information it had on hand such as the tax returns of citizens of the years 2018 or 2019.
Other factors could also have affected the amount you received, such as missing money for your dependents, that your check was garnished by mistake, or that you are a non-tax filer who has had to do an extra paperwork.
If you have not received any of the payments or you think the amount you received is insufficient, you can file a recovery refund credit on your 2020 tax return.
Who can get a stimulus check?
To get an Economic Impact Payment, known as a stimulus check, you must have a Social Security number. You must also meet the financial eligibility requirements for people who had to earn less than $ 75,000 a year to receive the full amount, above that threshold payments would be phased out.
The first stimulus check was mailed in April 2020 and provided $ 1,200 per person and up to $ 500 for each dependent age 16 and younger. The second stimulus payment, made in December 2020, was up to $ 600 per person and up to $ 600 per dependent.
How to claim the lost stimulus check?
The IRS began processing 2020 tax returns on February 12, which is a delay from the usual start of the January 15 date. The IRS has made its Free File tool available to you to electronically file your return if you earn less than $ 72,000 a year.
If you are missing any of the stimulus payments, be sure to fill out the recovery credit section of the return, which you will find after entering personal information such as your name, address, and Social Security number. Most of the tax software programs available through the Free File tool will guide you to know if you have received the total amount that is due to you.
The refund credit links the stimulus money to your tax return. That means you will not receive a separate check, but you could get a bigger tax refund or pay a smaller tax bill. If you are not used to filing taxes, for example, if you receive SSI or SSDI, or if you are retired, you will have to do it this year. Have your documentation handy and in order before you start filing your taxes.
Related: 7 essential facts you should know before filing your tax return
The first step in obtaining your recovery refund credit is confirming your payment status online through the IRS. If you see a confusing message or a possible error, you may be eligible for a refund or payment tracking.
To receive your refund faster, the IRS recommends filing the return electronically and selecting the direct deposit option. Otherwise, the IRS will take longer to process your documentation and you will have to mail a paper check.
If you don’t normally file a tax return, this is the year to do it. When you file a return this year, the IRS will take your information and file it, which could give you access to the tax provisions of the new COVID-19 bill that is being developed now.
The IRS will send payments automatically and will be based on the information it has without you needing to do anything. Remember that the deadline to file the tax return is May 17, 2021.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.