Updates On Federal And State Stimulus Checks: You Can Still File Your Returns And Claim Past Payments

Stimulus Check Social Security Payment
Stimulus Check

Despite the best efforts of the Internal Revenue Service, there were millions of stimulus checks pending by the end of 2022. People had failed to collect any one or all of the three economic impact payments and had also missed out on the enhanced Child Tax Credit stimulus check and the Earned Income Tax Credit. 

The IRS declared on its portal in 2022 that it was possible for citizens to claim any pending federal stimulus check under the American Rescue Plan Act. While the first two stimulus checks have come and gone, the third stimulus check that maxed out at $1,400 per person is still up for grabs if you have not already received it. 

Most of the payments under the Rescue Plan signed by President Biden have already gone out to eligible recipients through direct transfer to beneficiaries’ bank accounts or through paper stimulus checks mailed through the US Postal Service. 

But for those who have not received theirs, or have qualified for extra money, the only chance is through filing the income tax return for 2021. 

The Third Stimulus Check Was An Advance On The 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit

Technically the last round of the stimulus check, the Economic Impact Payment, was an advance on the Recovery Rebate Credit of 2021. But it was based on the income and the list of dependents as specified in the income tax return of 2019 and 2020. Thus, you could be owed more money if your income dropped, or you added further dependents in 2021. In the same way, you could be entitled to full credit if you never filed a tax return in 2019 or 2021.

Claiming the third round of the stimulus check has been further simplified by the IRS. Families are entitled to a maximum of $1,400 per person if their last income tax return showed an Adjusted Gross Income of $75,000 and below. For married couples filing jointly the AGI comes to $150,000 or less. The stimulus check amount gradually lessens above that income and is totally phased out at $80,000 for individual filers and double that amount for married couples filing jointly. 

Before claiming the pending amount of the third stimulus check, ensure that you have not already received that amount. You can confirm the payment and whether you received it by logging into the IRS account or through the Get My Payment app. You can also refer to the letter that you received from the IRS, called Notice 1444-C, that informs you of the amount that you are owed. 

If you suspect that your stimulus check was misdirected, lost, or stolen, you can place a request with the IRS to trace your payment and reclaim the stimulus check. It will be automatically reimbursed to you as a tax refund. 

For those who have filed their 2021 income tax return before the trace was completed, you should include the amount of the payment on the worksheet of the Recovery Rebate Credit, according to a release by the IRS

Filers should also need to complete the Recovery Rebate Tax Credit and should submit it as a part of the income tax return 2021. It is through this worksheet that you can get an estimate of how much you will be able to claim and ultimately receive. Then you would need to claim it on line 30, Form 1040/Form 1040-SR of the income tax return of 2021.

For those who realize that they have made errors in the calculation of the Recovery Rebate Credit, it is advisable not to take the trouble of filing any amended income tax return. This is something that the IRS will automatically change for your sake. You will receive a notification through a letter if there are any changes made. You will also get a way to dispute that change if you feel that it was not done correctly. 

With No Freshers Federal Stimulus Checks, States Plan More Inflation And Other Relief Payments 

While the Middle-Class Tax Relief payments sent out by the Golden States continue into 2023, other states have announced fresh stimulus checks in 2023. California sent between $200 and $1,050 to 26 million individuals and families. 

The payments were linked to the Adjusted Gross Income in 2020, the filing status of the individual and households, and whether these families have included dependents in their income tax returns in 2020. The payments have continued into the first quarter of 2023.

Idaho is one of the few states that have announced fresh measures in 2023. The residents will get the greatest of $75 per family member or 12% of the total income tax liability before credit, other taxes, and payments for the 1st year’s rebate. 

The amount will be greater than $600 for married couples filing a joint return or $300 for the rest of the filers. Or it could be 2020 of the income tax liability of 2020 before credits, payments, additional taxes, and donations. 

While the calculations are a bit complicated, it works out to be a nice sum for residents of Idaho. In 2022, the state issued a couple of tax rebates for residents who have been in the state for the whole of 2021 and who filed the state income tax returns for 2020 and 2021 by end-2022.

The rebate payments will go out through this year and will be in conjunction with when residents filed their tax returns for 2022. Residents will be able to stay abreast of the rebate payment status and find out extra info through the FAQ section for the Idaho tax authorities. 

Maine has been at the forefront of giving out stimulus checks right after the federal stimulus check stopped at the end of 2022. Now the state has announced a new payment for 2023 for residents of Maine who have lived in the state full-time and filed their 2021 income tax returns no later than October 31, 2022.

This payment has been named the Winter Energy Relief Payment. Residents will get the payment as long as the federal adjusted gross income is reported on the state tax return for 2021.

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