The IRS’s third round of Economic Impact Payments provided over $400 billion to taxpayers and their families in the U.S. Those who did not receive the third-round payment in spring or early summer in 2021, or those who received less than the full amount, should have elected to claim a Recovery Rebate Credit on their 2020 or 2021 federal tax returns. Optima Tax Relief reviews the steps to take if a taxpayer has missing Economic Impact Payments.
Taxpayers can access their IRS Online Account to check the total amount of Economic Impact Payments issued to them and the dates they were issued. Married individuals will need to check their own individual accounts to view their portion of their joint payment. Taxpayers can confirm these amounts were received by checking bank account statements, particularly between early spring and summer of 2021.
For those who did not receive a third-round Economic Impact Payment but have notices that show a payment was issued to them, should contact the IRS immediately to track the payment or see if one is owed to them. These individuals do not need to wait for their payment trace to be complete before filing their 2021 return. Instead, they should complete the Recovery Rebate Credit Worksheet or answer EIP questions if using a tax software to file their return.
In some cases, a taxpayer may miscalculate the Recovery Rebate Credit. These individuals do not need to file an amended return as the IRS will correct the amount and then send a notice indicating the changes made. However, this correction may cause a delay in processing the tax return, especially if the taxpayer challenges the changes made by the IRS.
Those eligible to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit and IRS records also show that no EIP was issued to them can file a Form 1040-X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. This will allow them to claim stimulus money that they are eligible for. This situation is more common for individuals whose circumstances in 2021 differed from 2020.
If an individual does not usually file taxes but is eligible to claim the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit, they will need to file an amended return. These individuals should use instructions for Form 1040 and 1040-SR to accurately calculate the amount of credit they can claim.