Individuals who did not qualify for, or did not receive, the full amount of the third Economic Impact Payment may be eligible to claim the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit based on their 2021 tax year information. Individuals may have received their third Economic Impact Payment through initial and “plus-up” payments in 2021.
Note: Third Economic Impact Payments are different than the monthly advance Child Tax Credit payments that the IRS disbursed from July through December 2021.
Most eligible people already received their Economic Impact Payments and won’t include any information about their payment when they file. However, people who are missing stimulus payments should review the information on the Recovery Rebate Credit IRS page to determine their eligibility and whether they need to claim a Recovery Rebate Credit for tax year 2021.
To claim any remaining credit for 2021, eligible people must file a 2021 tax return, even if they usually do not file taxes. Also, people who did not receive all of their first and second Economic Impact Payments in 2020 can receive those amounts only by filing a 2020 tax return (or amending a previously filed return) and claiming the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit. They should review the Recovery Rebate Credit page to determine their eligibility.
The 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit can reduce any taxes owed or be included in the tax refund for the 2021 tax year. Filers must ensure to not mix information from their 2020 and 2021 tax years. In particular, filers should take care to NOT include any information regarding the first and second Economic Impact Payments received in 2020, or the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit, on their 2021 return. They will need the total of the third payment received to accurately calculate the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit when they file their 2021 federal tax return in 2022.
People can locate this information on Notice 1444-C, which they received from the IRS during 2021 after each payment, as well as Letter 6475, which the IRS will mail to them through March 2022.
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