6 stimulus test pitfalls to learn about throughout tax season

Stimulus check rules can get complicated quickly.

Sarah Tew / CNET

If the IRS still owes you incentive money From the first two checks on, you will be among the millions of Americans who must ask for payment for your checks 2020 taxes this year. Is that it? first or second stimulus payment If you’ve never received, you’ll need to submit a file Recovery Discount Credit if you submit your tax return.

The IRS is Tax returns accepted by April 15th – unless the request is made Push back tax day is approved or if you submit an individual tax extension. If you Submit your taxes onlineyou can start Track the status of your tax refund 24 hours later. Note that the IRS is asking taxpayers to avoid filing paper returns this year in order to move the process forward quickly.

While it seems easy upfront, there are important ways the rules have changed between being proactive in sending checks through the IRS and being asked to claim your payment for a tax refund. These circumstances could prevent you from getting your missing stimulus money on time, or prevent you from getting it at all. Here’s what you need to know about exceptions that may affect your eligibility. (And here are details on a third stimulus test to the up to $ 1,400including how fast could yours come, and how Tax season could affect your third check total.) This story was recently updated.

The IRS must process your taxes before receiving any money

Once you’ve submitted your taxes using your Recovery Rebate Credit form, you’ll need to wait for the IRS to process your tax refund. If you apply for the credit and you owe money, it will either increase the amount of your tax refund or decrease the amount of tax you owe, depending on the amount of Stimulus money that you can receive.

The IRS says it issues most tax refunds within 21 days, but many people will get theirs much sooner. We have Different deadlines for when you can expect your tax refund to arrive based on your situation.

Look at that:

Stimulus Check # 3: What You Need To Know


Recovery Rebate Credit Claims require additional work. Especially if you are a nonfiler

Unfortunately, your missing economic stimulus money is not only shown in your tax return. You will need to submit a form to receive your funds as recovery credits. We have Complete instructions on how to apply for a recovery discount credit can be found herebut the basics are:

1. Confirm your payment status online through the IRS.

2. When you have your Tax return 2020 (Check out our list the best control software), claim your recovery discount credit on 2020 Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR. The IRS provides recovery discount credit instructions that you can use to find out if you are missing out on a payment and for how much.

3. If you are applying for a partial check discount, you will need the amount charged by the IRS from the letter the IRS sent to confirm your payment. This was named Message 1444 for the first payment and Message 1444-B for the second payment.

When you normally don’t have to file taxes – for example when you receive SSI or SSDIor if you are retired – You should have automatically received a first and a second stimulus check. But if your check never arrived (there was many reasons why this could have happened) You still need to file a 2020 tax return this year and apply for your Recovery Rebate Credit to claim your missing economic stimulus money. We have instructions on how to do this how non-filers can claim this credit.

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Submit tax extension? Prepare to wait longer for your money

You can file your tax return anytime before April 15th deadline. However, if you need more time, you can File for an extension with the IRSwhich would move your deadline to October 15th.

You can still claim missing stimulus money through a recovery credit when filing your taxes with an extension. Please note, however, that your refund will arrive accordingly later. For example, if you wait until October 15th to claim it, you won’t receive the money until October 22nd at the earliest.

You may not get a check at all if you owe money to the IRS

Under the CARES Act Beginning March 2020, your first stimulus check could be seized by state and federal agencies to cover overdue child support payments. This rule changed with the second stimulus check, which could not be performed on you Money owed for child support.

However, these rules are different if you apply for missing stimulus funds on your 2020 tax return. For certain outstanding debts – including overdue child child support payments and unpaid student loans – the IRS may withhold part or all of the unpaid stimulus payment, which is issued as a refund credit when you file your taxes. An independent taxpayer advocacy group within the IRS is working with the agency to address this issue. (Find out More information about your stimulus check rights.)

If you owe the IRS money you may be wondering: Should I go to the trouble of getting a Recovery Rebate Credit if the agency is going to take my money away? It probably still makes sense to do so as it will help you pay off your debts – even if you cannot access these funds as required by law.


The IRS may be able to garnish a portion of your stimulus money if you claim it on your tax return.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Your stimulus check could be garnished even if you claim it due to an error by the IRS

There was Plenty of reasons you may not have received your first or second stimulus check-up although you were entitled, including IRS errors, closed bank accounts and changed addresses. Unfortunately, even if there was an IRS error when you didn’t get the money as direct deposit, Paper check or EIP cardthe IRS can claim to cover your debt if you request it on your tax return.

This is due to a restriction that subjects Recovery Rebate Credits to regular rules on unpaid federal taxes and certain other debts, so the credit is treated differently from prepaid stimulus checks.

Any mistake on your third check means you will have to wait until next year’s tax season to claim any missing money

Similar to the first and second checks, during the next 2022 tax season, you can claim any missing money from the third check owed to you or your loved ones. It’s a long way. The best you can do now to make sure your third check arrives on time is: Submit your tax return as soon as possible.

4 ways you can get your refund faster

When you submit an application Recovery Discount Credit, the IRS likely sent you a letter last fall. When you’ve saved the letterthat the IRS has suggested, you will need the amount of payment that is listed in the letter when you file this year.

If you can Submit your taxes before April 15thThis can mean faster processing of your refund if either of you is due. In addition, potential missing stimulus payments this year are also tied to your taxes Filing earlier would mean a tax refund as well as a stimulus check in one payment. It is also more likely that you will receive your full payment with the new stimulus check in 2021 because the IRS would be your base third stimulus test on your 2019 and 2020 taxes, according to the latest proposal that is not yet required by law.

If you haven’t Direct deposit set up with the IRSSetting it up when filing your taxes can mean you’ll see your refund sooner – especially if you combine it with electronic filing. The IRS has actually asked taxpayers to avoid filing paper returns as well, if possible, to protect themselves from further delays.

If you’ve recently moved or are planning to move, this is what you need to do Notify the USPS and IRS of your new addresseven if it’s temporary. Keeping your address information up to date can help ensure you get all of your stimulus checks – possibly the missing ones – as well as your tax refund.

See everything we know about a so far for more information third stimulus test, when it might arrive and how much money you could get.

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