MORE than 100million second round stimulus checks are due to have reached eligible Americans by now.
But if you haven’t received it, or were underpaid in the first round last spring, you can still claim the money through your 2020 tax return.
Congress approved a second check to help Americans with the economic fallout of coronavirusCredit: Getty Images – Getty
The CARES Act last March provided for payments of up to $1,200 for adults and $500 per child under 17.
And the $900 billion coronavirus relief package approved in December authorized additional payments of up to $600 per adult and $600 for each qualifying child under 17.
Those payments should be been sent by now, by direct payment into a bank account, a pre-paid debit card or a paper check.
Anyone who is eligible for a second payment and thinks it might be delayed in the mail it can track its progress using an online tool.
But don’t worry if it says the money has not been sent – there is another way to claim the cash.
And that is through a tax return, which you can do even if you normally don’t need to.
You’ll have to claim what’s called a Recovery Rebate Credit, and the stimulus money will be added to any rebate you are due.
Only those with incomes below the limit were eligible for the first and second stimulus checks.
Who’s eligible for the stimulus check?
THERE is certain criteria that must be met in order to claim your second stimulus check.
You could be entitled to a payment if the following is true:
- You are not a dependent of another taxpayer
- You have a Social Security number valid for employment
Your adjusted gross income (AGI) must also not exceed:
- $150,000 if married and filing a joint return
- $112,500 if filing as head of household or
- $75,000 for single applicants
For earnings above this amount, payments will shrink by $5 for every $100 earned.
It means they will be phased out completely at $87,000 for individuals and $174,000 for couples filing jointly.
Children under 17 years old will also receive the same $600 payment as adults, but “child dependents” who are 17 years old will not.
The IRS used data from the 2018 and 2019 tax years to calculate how much people should get.
However in some instances, Americans either didn’t receive the stimulus check, or didn’t receive the full amount they were entitled to.
Reasons might include unemployment, which change a person or couple’s entitlement, or the birth of a child who was not included in a family total.
And 13million $600 payments were reportedly sent to wrong or closed bank accounts because the IRS’s information was out of date.
People who used online tax services are among the millions of Americans who may have had their stimulus check sent to the wrong bank account.
The IRS says most people will get a rebate within 21 days of filing an electronic tax returnCredit: Getty Images – Getty
If you think the IRS owes you stimulus money, the recovery rebate worksheet will calculate how much you should receive.
You can then claim that amount on Line 30 of Form 1040 and Form 1040-SR.
The IRS encouraged everyone who is eligible to use its Free File online tax software, launched last month for taxpayers who earn less than $72,000 to prepare and file their returns.
Although there is a backlog of seven million paper returns from last year, the IRS said nine in ten people who file electronically will get a rebate check including any stimulus payment due within 21 days after the tax season opens on February 12.
The only downside is if you already owe back tax – which will be deducted.
That’s because technically the stimulus payment is an advance tax credit against the 2020 return.
So if you are due a $600 stimulus payment, but owe the IRS $500, you will get only $100.
“It is a tax credit against your 2020 income tax,” the IRS said. “Generally, this credit will increase the amount of your tax refund or decrease the amount of the tax you owe.”