The Internal Revenue Service today issued frequently asked questions (FAQs) for the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit. Individuals who did not qualify for, or did not receive, the full amount of the third Economic Impact Payment may be eligible to claim the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit based on their 2021 tax year information. Individuals may have received their third Economic Impact Payment through initial and “plus-up” payments in 2021.
Note: Third Economic Impact Payments are different than the monthly advance Child Tax Credit payments that the IRS disbursed from July through December 2021.
Most eligible people already received their Economic Impact Payments and won’t include any information about their payment when they file. However, people who are missing stimulus payments should review the information on the Recovery Rebate Credit page to determine their eligibility and whether they need to claim a Recovery Rebate Credit for the tax year 2021.
To claim any remaining credit for 2021, eligible people must file a 2021 tax return, even if they usually do not file taxes. Also, people who did not receive all of their first and second Economic Impact Payments in 2020 can receive those amounts only by filing a 2020 tax return (or amending a previously filed return) and claiming the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit. They should review the Recovery Rebate Credit page to determine their eligibility.
The 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit can reduce any taxes owed or be included in the tax refund for the 2021 tax year. Filers must ensure to not mix information from their 2020 and 2021 tax years. In particular, filers should take care to NOT include any information regarding the first and second Economic Impact Payments received in 2020, or the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit, on their 2021 return. They will need the total of the third payment received to accurately calculate the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit when they file their 2021 federal tax return in 2022.
People can locate this information on Letter 1444-C, which they received from the IRS during 2021 after each payment, as well as Letter 6475, which the IRS will mail to them beginning in late January 2022. Individuals can also view this information in their online account later in January.
The FAQs (FS-2022-04) PDF cover most questions relating to claiming the credit and are for use by taxpayers and tax professionals and are being issued as expeditiously as possible.
The 2021 Recovery Rebate FAQ topics are:
- Topic A: General Information
- Topic B: Claiming the Recovery Rebate Credit if you aren’t required to file a 2021 tax return
- Topic C: Eligibility for claiming a Recovery Rebate Credit on a 2021 tax return
- Topic D: Claiming the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit
- Topic E: Calculating the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit
- Topic F: Receiving the Credit on a 2021 tax return
- Topic G: Finding the third Economic Impact Payment Amounts to calculate the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit
- Topic H: Correcting issues after the 2021 tax return is filed
File for free and use direct deposit
Taxpayers with an income of $73,000 or less can file their federal tax returns electronically for free through the IRS Free File Program. The fastest way to receive a tax refund is to file electronically and have it direct deposited into a financial account. Refunds can be directly deposited into bank accounts, prepaid debit cards, or mobile apps as long as a routing and account number are provided.