If you haven’t received your third stimulus payment or got a partial amount and you’re entitled to more, the IRS is giving you another chance—but time is running out to claim it.
In January, the IRS announced that all third stimulus payments had been issued. But some taxpayers can still claim the payment on their 2021 tax return. The deadline to file your 2021 taxes is April 18.
More than 175 million third stimulus payments, totaling over $400 billion, were sent out starting in March 2021 as part of the American Rescue Plan Act.
How to Claim Your Missing Third Stimulus Payment on Your 2021 Tax Return
You’ll need to request any missing third stimulus payments on your 2021 tax return by claiming the Recovery Rebate Tax Credit.
This is the case if you received a partial amount (less than the full stimulus payment amount of $1,400) or didn’t previously qualify for the third stimulus payment.
Let’s say you’re single and your income for the 2020 and 2019 tax years exceeds the threshold (which we’ll discuss later). However, you lost your job in 2021, so your income drastically decreased. You can now claim the Recovery Rebate Tax Credit since your earnings fell below the threshold.
Families that added dependents (for example, you had or adopted a child) may also be able to claim the credit.
In addition, a few lingering taxpayers who file taxes using ITINs may not have received payments for their eligible dependents who have Social Security numbers.
You need to complete the Recovery Rebate Tax Credit worksheet and submit it along with your 2021 tax return. If you use a tax software program, it should guide you through the process. Keep in mind, the IRS predicted a frustrating and slow tax season this year, so file your return as soon as possible.
Before completing the worksheet, you must know the amount of any third stimulus payments received for you, your spouse, and any dependents. The worksheet will also request your adjusted gross income (AGI) for the year to determine your eligibility.
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If you’re unsure of the amount of your third stimulus payment, you should review your IRS online account or use the Get My Payment app. You can also refer to your Notice 1444-C, a letter sent by the IRS to recipients, which shows the third stimulus payment amount for 2021.
The IRS started mailing Letter 6475 to taxpayers in January—the letter confirms the total amount of the third stimulus payments received for the 2021 tax year.
After you determine your correct recovery rebate credit amount, you’ll need to report it on line 30 of your 2021 tax return.
Unlike direct stimulus payments, where payments were issued directly by the federal government to eligible people, the Recovery Rebate Tax Credit will either reduce any taxes owed or increase your tax refund.
What to Do If You Can’t Find Your Stimulus Check
If your IRS online account shows that you should have received a stimulus payment, but you didn’t get it, there’s a chance it could have been lost in the mail. Or you might have thrown away the prepaid debit card you received.
If you lost your stimulus check or suspect it was stolen, you can request the IRS trace your payment. If the IRS determines your check hasn’t been cashed, it will issue a credit to your account. It can’t reissue your payment, but you can claim the payment on your 2021 tax return using the Recovery Rebate Tax Credit worksheet.
If a trace is initiated and the IRS determines that the check wasn’t cashed, the IRS will credit your account for that payment. However, the IRS can’t reissue your payment. Instead, you will need to claim the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit on your 2021 tax return if eligible.
If you lost your EIP card, a prepaid debit card on which some individuals received their stimulus payment, contact card issuer MetaBank to request a replacement.
Who Qualifies for the Third Stimulus Payments?
Generally, if you’re a U.S. citizen (or U.S. resident alien) and not a dependent of another taxpayer, you qualify for the full third stimulus payment. In addition, your adjusted gross income (AGI) can’t exceed:
- $150,000 for married filing jointly
- $112,500 for heads of household
- $75,000 for single filers
A partial payment may be available if your income exceeds the thresholds. However, you will not receive any payment if your AGI is at least:
- $160,000 for married filing jointly
- $120,000 for heads of household
- $80,000 for single filers
The full amount of the third stimulus payment is $1,400 per person ($2,800 for married couples filing a joint tax return) and an additional $1,400 for each qualifying dependent.