How to Claim More Stimulus Check Money When You File Your Taxes
Yesou are not alone if you are dreading filing your taxes this year. But here’s something that might make you pull out all that paperwork: The government may owe you more stimulus money.
Last year, the tax sent more than 175 million third-round stimulus payments totaling more than $400 billion to help people cope with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. In January, the IRS announcement that he had officially issued all the third stimulus checks he was going to.
But if you didn’t receive a check and think you owed one, or if you did receive it but received less than the full amount, fear not. There is still a way to claim this money.
The third economic impact payment – aka EIP3, aka the third stimulus check – was an advance payment of the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit. This means that if the IRS owes you more stimulus money, you can claim the credit when you declare your taxes This year. Because it is fully refundable, the credit will reduce the amount of money you owe Uncle Sam or increase the size of your tax refund.
Here’s everything you need to know to claim the recovery rebate credit.
Who is eligible for more stimulus money?
When the IRS sent out all those checks last year, it used information from your 2020 or 2019 tax return to determine if you qualified and for how much. The eligibility requirements for the 2021 recovery rebate credit are the same as for the third stimulus check, but they are now based on your 2021 tax data.
This is important because if you weren’t initially eligible for the third full stimulus check – and your circumstances have changed in 2021 – you may be eligible for more money. In most cases, this depends on whether your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) drops or you add a new dependent to your family.
You probably qualify for more stimulus money if…
Your income has dropped in 2021
If you earned more than $80,000 as a single filer, more than $160,000 as joint filers, or more than $120,000 as a family head in the last tax years, but less than this amount in 2021, you can now benefit as much as $1,400 per person.
You may be eligible for a partial payment if you earned between $75,000 and $80,000 in 2020 as a single filer, between $150,000 and $160,000 jointly, or between $112,500 and $120,000 like a household declarant in 2020 but your income fell below these thresholds in 2021. (That’s why the government sent increased payments Last year.)
You gained a dependent in 2021
If your family welcomed a child last year, you can declare them as a dependent and receive up to $1,400 for that child. (We won’t go into details here, but you’re probably also eligible for the 2021 child tax creditwhich is worth a maximum of $3,600 for children under age 5.)
An important distinction with the third stimulus check versus the first two is that you can claim it if you have adult dependents, says Lisa Greene-Lewis, certified public accountant and tax expert at TurboTax. Visit the IRS website to determine who you can claim as a dependant.
You were no longer dependent in 2021
On the other hand, if you were listed as someone else’s dependent on their 2019 or 2020 tax returns, but you are not claimed a dependent on their 2021 tax return, you may now be eligible for your own recovery rebate credit. College students, for example, who worked part-time or side gigs and earned at least $12,550 would have to file a return — and if their parents didn’t claim them as dependents, they may be eligible for the third stimulus check in the form of credit, says Greene-Lewis.
In general, you are eligible to claim the recovery rebate credit if you were a U.S. citizen or U.S. resident alien, you have a valid Social Security number, and you were not a dependent of another taxpayer in 2021 .
How to determine the size of your third stimulus check
To determine how much money you can get, start with the base amount of $1,400 if you are single or $2,800 if you are co-filers. Then add $1,400 for any dependents.
Your credit may be reduced depending on your AGI. The amount is reduced if your AGI is over $150,000 if you are married and filing jointly, over $112,500 if you are the head of household, and over $75,000 if you are a single filer. You will not receive any credit if your AGI exceeds $160,000, $120,000 or $80,000, respectively.
The IRS will also decrease your payment by the amount of your third stimulus check and any additional payments you received. Can’t remember the size? Check your mailbox. The government sent Notice 1444-C and Letter 6475 with information on the total amount of your third stimulus check.
If you received a joint payment with a spouse, you each received your own letter indicating half of the total amount. If you cannot find the letter, you can visit your online IRS account
and find details about your stimulus checks in the “Tax Records” section.
Remember: you must enter the correct amount on your tax form if you want to get this extra money, especially considering the recent turmoil at the IRS.
“If you don’t put in what you received at all, or put in the incorrect amount, it will delay the processing of your return,” says Greene-Lewis.
How to claim the missing stimulus check money on your taxes
This is the time to claim all the money owed to you if you haven’t already received it. Before you sit down declare your taxes (ideally before the April deadline) and apply for the credit, make sure you know the total amount you received in the third EIP and any additional payments for a smooth process.
Once you have determined how much money you can claim – which you can do via the Recovery Refund Credit Worksheet in Form 1040 and Form 1040-SR 2021 instructions — declare it on line 30 of your Form 1040.
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