Personal finance

Who may still be eligible for $1,400 stimulus checks with their 2021 tax returns

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The IRS says it is no longer deploying $1,400 stimulus checks and plus-up payments that were due to qualifying Americans in 2021.

However, there may still be people eligible for those checks, or additional funds, once they file their returns this tax season.

A Treasury Department report found that, as of the middle of September, 644,705 people still had not received a third stimulus check due to them. Many of those people may have since received the money. It is unclear how many payments are still outstanding.

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The IRS recently released updated information on the Recovery Rebate Credit people may file for this year in order to recoup any of the money from those one-time payments still owed them.

The third round of stimulus payments were authorized last year through the American Rescue Plan Act.

Who was eligible for a third stimulus check

Under the terms, individuals could receive up to $1,400 through the third stimulus checks. Couples who file jointly could get up to $2,800. Additionally, eligible dependents could also receive $1,400.

To qualify, you had to be either a U.S. citizen or resident alien in 2021. You also had to have a valid Social Security number, though there are certain exceptions for spouses or dependents.

You also could not have been claimed as someone else’s dependent on a 2020 tax return in order to qualify for your own payment.

To be eligible for a full payment, your adjusted gross income could not be above certain thresholds: $75,000 for individuals, $112,500 for heads of household or $150,000 for married couples.

Payments were phased out for those with incomes above those levels, and cut off completely for individuals with $80,000 in adjusted gross income, heads of household with $120,000 and married couples with $160,000.

Who may still be eligible for more money

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There may be people who are eligible for the full $1,400 payments, or additional partial payments, particularly if their circumstances have changed.

Parents who added a child to their family in 2021 may be eligible for a $1,400 payment. Additionally, families who added a dependent to their family in 2021, such as a parent, niece or nephew or grandchild, may also be eligible for $1,400 on their behalf.

Additionally, people whose incomes have fallen may now be eligible for the money if their 2021 adjusted gross incomes are below the thresholds for full payments. If their incomes are in the phase-out thresholds, they could be eligible for partial payments.

People who do not typically file tax returns, and have not yet done so, need to file this year in order to receive the any potential payments.

The Recovery Rebate Credit money for which you are eligible will either reduce the amount of federal taxes you owe or be included in your refund.

How to claim your Recovery Rebate Credit

A reminder: The IRS will not automatically calculate any Recovery Rebate Credit amount for which you may be entitled when you file.

“Individuals must claim the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit on their 2021 income tax return in order to get this money,” the IRS said in its fact sheet.

To see if you are eligible for a payment, you can find more information on the Recovery Rebate Credit on the agency’s website.

If you have no income or up to $73,000 in income, you can file your federal tax return for free using the IRS’ Free File program.

For people who already received their third stimulus checks, there is no need to include information on those payments in their 2021 returns, according to the IRS.

If you are still missing a first or second stimulus check that was sent by the government in 2020, you will have to file a 2020 tax return rather than claim that money on your 2021 return, according to the IRS.

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