WASHINGTON — Stimulus payments were a lifeline to millions of Americans during the pandemic.
Every time the U.S. Treasury mailed out those checks and issued direct deposits, our VERIFY inbox filled up with email after email of people asking "where's my check?"
On social media, some claim you can still collect some of that money through your taxes.
If you think you’re owed more stimulus money than you got, is there a way to get the remainder when filing your taxes?
- Luis Garcia- IRS spokesperson
- Henry Grzes- lead manager on tax practice and ethics, Association of International Certified Professional Accountants
- IRS website- "IRS: Expanded credits for families highlight tax changes for 2021; many people who don’t normally file should file this year," "Recovery Rebate Credit," "Understanding Your Letter 6475"
Yes, you can try to recoup money from the third stimulus payment, when filing your 2021 taxes.
WHAT WE FOUND:
Third stimulus payments were issued back in March 2021. The IRS says if you're eligible and didn't get one or didn't get the full amount, you can claim the Recovery Rebate Credit when you file your taxes.
"The recovery rebate credit is a way to reconcile with the amount that you were actually owed and the amount you received so that if there's more coming your way you'll get it through that recovery rebate credit when you file your return," Garcia, an IRS spokesperson, said.
If you don’t remember how much of that third stimulus you got, check your IRS online account, or your mailbox for a letter sent by the IRS for that purpose called "Letter 6475."
The IRS explains that for a married couple filing jointly, each spouse will get their own letter, showing half of the total stimulus amount.
The letter might be different from what you actually received.
Grzes gave the example of perhaps the IRS sent the stimulus to a person's old bank account and it was rejected, or perhaps someone accidentally threw it out.
"If you receive something less than you were entitled to, then you can claim it on filing your tax return," Grzes said. "And this will oftentimes happen in a situation where because the 2021 stimulus payment number three was based on prior year filings and your situation may have changed, you may be eligible for more."
He continued, "If you don't fill out that worksheet the IRS isn't going to do it for you. So you need to fill out the worksheet and make sure you put the proper numbers in there."
Our experts said if you don’t ordinarily file a tax return, you should go ahead and do it and may be able to get that stimulus payment retroactively if you missed out.
If still haven’t got all the money for your first and second stimulus payment, the IRS says don't claim any of that on your 2021 taxes. That information should have been included in your 2020 return. If you want to try and get it still, the agency says to file a 2020 tax return, if you haven’t already, or amend your 2020 tax return if it’s already been processed.
So we can VERIFY, yes, there is a way to get your stimulus money by filing taxes.