The IRS let people know this week that all of the hundreds of millions of stimulus checks have been sent out. This means that most people should have received them by now. Here is what you need to do if you did not receive your stimulus payment.
All Stimulus Payments Have Been Sent
In the first stimulus check round back in March/April, the IRS sent out 160 million stimulus payments totaling over $270 billion! In the next round, which took place in late December/early January, the IRS sent out more than 143 million stimulus payments totaling over $142 billion.
The difference in the amounts has largely to do with the fact that the adult payments in round two were the same as dependents – $600 instead of the $1,200 from the original stimulus payments. I do find it a little odd that there were at least 17 million fewer payments sent out this time but this could be due to the fact that the window for claiming the first stimulus payments lasted more than 7 months while the second stimulus window was less than one month.
What To Do If You Didn’t Get a Stimulus Payment
First, make sure you check this page to see if you qualified for the first stimulus payments and how much you were to have received.
Remember that in both rounds, the stimulus payments were not including any dependents age 17 and older. This means that if you had been claimed on another person’s tax return in 2018 or 2019 and you were over the age of 17, no money would have been sent for you.
The good news is this – both stimulus payments were actually advances on getting that money this year, for tax year 2020. This means that you if you did not get one or both stimulus payments, you can claim them on your 2020 tax return and get them with the federal tax return.
This does mean that you will need to file this year, even if you do not normally need to file a tax return.
Here is more information from the IRS on this subject:
Eligibility for and the amount of the Recovery Rebate Credit are based on 2020 tax year information while the Economic Impact Payments were based on 2019 tax year information. For the first Economic Impact Payment, a 2018 return may have been used if the 2019 was not filed or processed.
Individuals will need to know the amounts of any Economic Impact Payments they received to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit. Those who don’t have their Economic Impact Payment notices can view the amounts of their first and second Economic Impact Payments through their individual online account. For married filing joint individuals, each spouse will need to log into their own account.
You can also check the Find My Payment tool to make sure your stimulus check had not been sent out already. This page was last updated on January 29, 2021 and will not be updated again for either stimulus round, the Economic Impact Payments or the Recovery Rebate Credit.
Also do not forget that 8 million people received a prepaid debit card during the second round, not a check. This means that you may have already received it but did not know what to look for. Check this post for more information about that.
The IRS has formally announced that all stimulus payments for both the first round (the Economic Impact Payment) and the second round (the Recovery Rebate Credit) have now been sent out. This means that if you are still waiting on one or both, you will need to claim those on your tax return this year. Make sure you know what to do – by checking this page – so that you are guaranteed to get the money which is coming to you!