Three rounds of stimulus checks were approved by the U.S. government as part of its COVID-19 relief efforts, distributing more than $930 billion in direct Economic Impact Payments to Americans. Still, millions of people have not yet claimed their 2021 coronavirus stimulus check, according to a recent report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).
2021 Coronavirus Stimulus Check: Who May Still Get It?
The stimulus checks issued by the federal government as part of the COVID-19 relief efforts were technically advance payments of a fully refundable tax credit, called the Recovery Rebate Credit. This credit was available for the 2020 and 2021 tax years.
So, those who didn’t initially receive their coronavirus stimulus checks could have claimed them when filing their tax returns in 2021 and 2022. However, a review of 2021 tax returns by TIGTA, an organization that oversees the IRS, found that about 3 million people may not have claimed their credit, as there are $4.7 billion in unclaimed Recovery Rebate Credits.
“TIGTA’s review of Tax Year 2021 tax returns identified nearly 3 million individuals who are potentially eligible for $4.7 billion in Recovery Rebate Credits but have not claimed them,” the report says.
Although the government confirmed earlier this year that all stimulus payments had been sent, some taxpayers have yet to receive any or receive the full amount of their 2021 coronavirus stimulus check.
Such taxpayers still have a chance to claim their 2021 coronavirus stimulus check by filing or amending their 2021 tax return. Taxpayers generally have three years (from the time they filed their return) to claim a credit or refund.
What’s The Eligibility And How To Claim It
According to the report, about 2.9 million individual taxpayers didn’t claim the Recovery Rebate Credit with their 2021 tax return. Such taxpayers may qualify for the 2021 coronavirus stimulus check.
Eligibility for the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit is very similar to the third stimulus payment, which was based on individual’s 2019 or 2020 tax details. Individual taxpayers can get up to $1,400, while married couples could get up to $2,800. Additionally, eligible taxpayers can get 1,400 for each qualifying dependent.
If you believe you are eligible for the 2021 coronavirus stimulus check but haven’t received it or didn’t receive the full amount, then you need to file a tax return for that year to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit. It must be noted that you will have to file a tax return to claim the credit even if you are a non-filer.
Meanwhile, TIGTA recommends that the IRS boost its efforts to encourage potentially eligible taxpayers to file or amend their returns to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit. The agency, on its part, has agreed to continue with its efforts to inform people about the availability of the credit and how to claim it.
Even before TIGTA’s recommendation, the IRS has been making efforts to reach eligible individuals who haven’t yet claimed their stimulus money. Early last year, the agency mailed out Letter 6475 to help people determine whether or not to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit on their 2021 tax returns.