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IRS Says It's Done Issuing Stimulus Checks for Now


Taxpayers have likely heard about the third possible round of stimulus checks promised in the American Recovery Plan, but what if they didn't get the first or second Economic Impact Payment? While the IRS said it's done issuing money for now, there are some ways people who are still waiting can get what they're owed by the government.

Feb 23rd 2021
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The IRS has announced it has fulfilled its responsibilities regarding the first two rounds of Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) for eligible recipients (IR-2021-38, 2/16/21). Now it’s time for taxpayers who received stimulus checks to finish the job as the IRS turns its eye toward tax-filing season.

Within a matter of weeks after EIPs were approved last spring, the IRS began distributing money to eligible taxpayers. It issued more than 160 million stimulus payments to taxpayers across the country, totaling over $270 billion. In addition, when a second EIP was approved in December, the IRS delivered over 147 million more payments, totaling over $142 billion. However, payments were phased out for certain upper-income taxpayers.

Under law, the IRS was required to issue the second round of EIPs by January 15, 2021. Although some payments may still be in the mail—keep checking your mailbox—the IRS has now issued all first and second EIPs it is legally obligated to distribute, based on the information on file for eligible individuals.

Get My Payment was last updated on January 29, 2021 to reflect the final payments. It will not be updated again for the first or second stimulus check.

Keep in mind that the EIPs are actually advance payments of a credit. If a taxpayer hasn’t received a payment yet—or has not received the full amount he or she is entitled to—they can claim the recovery rebate credit on their 2020 tax return.

Eligibility for the credit and the determination of the amount are based on your 2020 tax year information, while EIPs were based on 2019 tax year information. For the first stimulus payment, a 2018 return may have been used if the 2019 wasn’t filed or processed.

Individuals will need to know the amounts of any EIP they received to claim the recovery rebate credit. Those who don't have their checks can view the amounts of their first and second EIP through their individual online account. For married-filing-jointly individuals, each spouse will need to log into their own account.

To avoid refund delays, the IRS urges people to file a complete and accurate tax return. Filing electronically allows tax software to figure credits and deductions, including the recovery rebate credit. The IRS has also provided a credit worksheet in its Form 1040 instructions. 

So, will there be more to come? The Biden administration has proposed a third round of EIPs of up to $1,400 per recipient as part of its American Rescue Plan. It is expected that legislation could be enacted by mid-March. Stay tuned.

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