How to: Reclaiming missing stimulus money with taxes

Last updated: July 12, 2024
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Paul Baker
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How to: Reclaiming missing stimulus money with taxes
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For many Americans, one or both rounds of stimulus checks represent a missed opportunity for much-needed income. With both rounds of stimulus payments being riddled with disbursal issues many who didn’t get their checks are wondering whether they’ll ever see their money. The good news is that, with this coming tax season, anyone who missed out on a stimulus payment has an opportunity to claim their payment as a tax credit.

Why didn’t payments come for everyone who qualified?

The reasons may vary on a case by case basis, but some common reasons that stimulus payments were missed are:

  • The IRS made an error delivering your payment
  • Your check was garnished by mistake
  • You’re a nonfiler who didn’t claim your payment via the “Get my payment” tool in time.

No matter what happened to keep you from receiving your payment, you can still claim the stimulus money that was meant for you.

How can missed stimulus payments be reclaimed?

In short, the way to claim missing stimulus money is through doing your taxes. Instead of re-issuing payments, the IRS has folded stimulus money reclaiming into the 2020 tax filing process. This means that those who want to get stimulus money they missed out on originally will have to file their 2020 taxes.

What is the Recovery Rebate Credit?

The Recovery Rebate Credit is the tax credit that will allow anyone who missed a stimulus payment to claim the money as part of their tax return. In order to claim, you’ll have to fill in an extra form on your tax return this year in order to access the stimulus money that should have come your way.

How to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit

If you’re already qualified to file income taxes this year or in previous years, you should be familiar with the process of filing tax forms. If you haven’t been previously eligible and are unfamiliar with filing taxes, you can get help filing these forms either through the IRS free file system or another tax preparation service.

The form you’ll need to fill out to claim your stimulus money is:

  1. For senior citizens: Form 1040-SR OR
  2. For non-senior citizens: 2020 Form 1040

Once you submit this form, the amount of stimulus money that you missed during the original disbursal phase will be applied as a tax refund.

Want more pandemic relief information? 

What if I owe taxes for 2020?

If you owe taxes, some or all of your stimulus money could be applied toward that balance. Because the stimulus money is applied as a tax credit, it will be figured into your taxes like any other tax credit.

If you owe taxes greater than the sum of the stimulus money you’re claiming, you could still have to pay taxes even after claiming your stimulus money. However, if you get a tax refund this year, the stimulus money you claimed will be added to your refund, meaning you’ll get a bigger tax refund.


What are your thoughts? Do you think this is an effective way to resolve stimulus issues?

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christine roub
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Hand Trimmer at Cap Group

Not at all I still haven't gotten mine now I'm facing homelessness because of this thanks for nothing now it will be to late

3y
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Francis Vegaralaud
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How about the golden stimulus (600$)how do we claim that,i believe its for residents of california only

3y
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Darcy Mccarter
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If you have kids its great. I have 2 children but im disable i have my kids 24/7but because i am not required to file taxes im poor my ex gets to claim them. I get non of their money and on top of that he quite his job because all their money is lining his pockets and now I haven't received a child support payment for 7 months. Its just great for me and nobody will help me take that money that is rightfully my childrens!!!

3y
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Deborah Ritts
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What if I'm a senior & my husband isn't & we file jointly.

3y
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Sheketia Shepherd
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I still haven't received the first one for me and my son at all

3y
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angel Valentin
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Machine Op at Quietflex

stimul. checks are goin. to childsuport. not who. needs it

3y
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Neal Mcleod
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Welder Line Worker at Song Won

I believe that some one else filed to get my stimulus check how do I check and see?

3y
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Charles Thompkins
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I filed the tax recovery act and got my tax check for about 230.00. It should have been 2024 with the recovery filing.did not happen.

3y
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Kawana Craig
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They said mine was going to be deposited on the 17th of March & nothing yet

3y
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Desiree Johnson
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Associate

THE INFO VERY INFORMTATIVE FOR ONE TO HELP OTHER TO KNOW THERE IS HOPE AND HELP. WE MUST SHARE AND DIRECT.

3y
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