Millions of Americans missed out on their federal stimulus checks and other relief measures initiated by the government as a response to the economic hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. But it may not be too late to claim any of the missed stimulus checks.
The main reason individuals and households missed out on the stimulus check is due to their absence in the records of the IRS or due to non-filing of their federal income tax returns for the past 2–3 years. But for many, merely filing their 2020 income tax returns should get them their first and second stimulus check, and filing their 2021 income tax returns will get them their third stimulus check.
Individuals who missed out on any of the federal stimulus checks will have to wait for the 2023 income tax season to begin. They will get help with filing their 2020 or 2021 income tax return. They may also claim their missing stimulus check through GetYourRefund.org, which opened on January 31, 2023.
Claiming The Recovery Rebate Credit On The Tax Return
Individuals and families may get the Recovery Rebate Credit by filing their previous income tax returns. The returns that they need to file depend on the stimulus check they have missed. For the initial two stimulus checks given out under the CARES Act for the first stimulus check and the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 for the second payment, they have the free filing option through the GetYourRefund.org site.
For the third stimulus check that is part of the American Rescue Plan Act of March 2021, individuals and joint filers have the chance to avail of free filing through GetCTC.org for a combination of missing stimulus checks, claimants have to file through the GetYourRefund.org site.
For the first and the second stimulus check, claimants had to file a tax return for the 2020 tax year, which was in 2021. The deadline to file the returns was May 17, 2021, while the tax filing extension deadline was on October 15, 2021.
For those who missed out on the filing deadline, there is still the option to file their income tax return to collect their first and second stimulus checks. For those who do not owe taxes, there is no penalty for filing late. Those owing taxes may be subject to penalties and fines for not filing or not paying their taxes. The tax authorities may also reduce their tax refund to pay for any taxes that they owe as federal and state government debts.
Further details about the options open for those who may owe taxes may be obtained by visiting the IRS site and going through the ‘Filing Past Due Tax Returns’ or the ‘What to do if I Owe Taxes but Can’t Pay Them’ part.
For the third stimulus check, filers need to file their income tax return for the 2021 tax year which they were scheduled to file in 2022. The deadline for filing the returns was April 18, 2022, while the tax filing extension deadline was on October 17, 2022.
The IRS also sent out letters to around 10 million residents who missed out on their stimulus check payments mainly due to their records being absent in the data of the IRS and the treasury department.
States Continue To Send Out Payments From 2022
Around 21 states have sent out relief payments in 2022 to residents to combat inflation that reached record figures, the highest in more than 40 years. For those who missed out on the payments, there are ways they can recover the amount.
Over 50M Americans received some form of stimulus check or tax refund as state government stepped in to help out residents to tide over rising prices. This unprecedented inflation adversely affected the prices of every product and good from gasoline to groceries.
But as with the federal stimulus checks or the economic impact payments, many residents missed out on the state inflation relief payments. But there are ways that individuals and joint filers can still claim any missing stimulus checks.
While some might not qualify under the conditions stipulated by the state administration, others might have missed out on the payments because the state tax agency might not have their present address or their banking details. There is also the possibility that their income tax returns for 2021, to be filed in 2022, were not filed correctly.
You would first need to find out if your state issued a stimulus check and whether you ticked all the qualification boxes to get the stimulus check. You would then need to inquire about any missing inflation rebate payments.
While the state stimulus checks were mostly paid out by the states in the first and the second quarter of 2022, some states planned their inflation relief payments for the last quarter, coinciding with the festive season.
Alaska was among the first states to declare payments to residents. But the Dept. of Revenue of the state only began issuing the payments on September 20 last year. Most Alaskans received a Permanent Fund Dividend that allowed them a part of the oil and other mineral revenues.
Last year, soaring international oil prices allowed the state to send their residents a generous $650 as an energy relief payment. The PFD stimulus check amount for 2022 has seen a huge leap and has touched $3,284 in 2022, which is a 195% increase from the previous year.
California had earlier issued two rounds of payments under the Golden State Stimulus Checks I and II. Governor Gavin Newsom decided to send out gas and transit cards worth $400 to individuals and families if they had a vehicle registered in the Golden State. The plan was changed to a third round of stimulus checks for 23M residents of California.
Single filers with an Adjusted Gross Income below $250,000 and joint filers with an AGI below $500,000 received a Middle-Class Tax Refund (MCTR) worth between $200 and $1,050 depending on their AGI.
Joint filers with a state AGI of $150,000 or less for 2021 received the maximum amount of $1,050 if they declared a dependent in their state returns for 2021. The highest individual tax refund amount is $350. Those who did not receive their payment should call up the Franchise Tax Board at 800-542-9332.