This tax season is that last chance filers have to get any stimulus money they may be missing from the third round of payments that was disbursed to most people last year.
If you haven’t gotten your $1,400 payment for yourself or your dependents — or got less than you qualify for — you will need to claim the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit on your tax return. This is the final opportunity you will have to get your 2021 stimulus money, unless you file an amended 2021 tax return later on.
Most people have received all of the stimulus money they are eligible for, according to the IRS. But there are a few reasons you may be able to claim the credit:
- You had a child in 2021.
- You added a new dependent, such as a parent, grandparent or niece, in 2021.
- You lost income in 2021 relative to 2020.
- You didn’t receive a stimulus payment at all but are eligible.
Again, you must meet the income eligibility requirements in order to receive the money for yourself or your dependents.
Let’s say you’re a single filer who had an adjusted gross income (AGI) of $80,000 in 2020. Technically, you would not have qualified for a stimulus check at all. But if your AGI fell to $75,000 in 2021, then you’d be able to claim the full $1,400.
Alternatively, if your AGI was $80,000 in 2021, contributing $5,000 to a traditional IRA — which you can still do for 2021 — would lower your taxable income enough to reach the $75,000 AGI eligibility limit for the full stimulus payment. You would need to do that before filing your 2021 tax return to reap the benefits.
If you haven’t already, you should be receiving a letter from the IRS detailing the stimulus money you’ve received and how much you are eligible for. This can help you when filing your return. Tax software should prompt you with questions about your stimulus payments, making the Recovery Rebate Credit easier to claim if necessary.
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