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Do this ASAP if you still haven’t gotten your $600 stimulus check

Published Jan 18th, 2021 11:04AM EST
Stimulus check update
Image: Roman Lipovskiy/Adobe
  • Friday, January 15th was the deadline for the IRS to send out the latest round of $600 stimulus checks.
  • Most eligible Americans who made less than $75,000 in 2019 should have already received their Economic Impact Payments, but those who didn’t still have a chance.
  • If you didn’t receive the full amount of your stimulus check, you will need to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit when you file your taxes this year.

On the evening of December 27th, President Trump finally signed the $2.3 trillion government spending and COVID-19 relief package that had been sitting on his desk for several days. $900 billion of that money was to be appropriated for businesses, schools, and individuals affected by the coronavirus pandemic, and the most immediate benefit was a new round of $600 stimulus checks for Americans who made less than $75,000 in 2019.

The disbursement of the checks went much smoother this time around, as the IRS already had the information that it needed to deposit $600 directly into the bank accounts of millions of eligible Americans. The biggest difference (other than the amount of money) was how long the IRS and Treasury had to get the checks out. Friday, January 15th was the deadline for the new Economic Impact Payments to be delivered, but what if yours never arrived?

If you never received your $600 from the government, don’t worry. If the IRS and the Treasury didn’t have your bank details, there’s a chance that your check or debit card is still in the mail. You can check on the status of your payment on the same Get My Payment hub that the IRS used for the first round of checks.

A majority of eligible Americans have already received their $600, but if yours never showed up or you got less than the full amount, here’s what happens next. As the IRS explains on its website, the CARES Act and the COVID-related Tax Relief Act authorized tax credits of $1,200 and $600, respectively. These tax credits were eligible to be paid in two rounds of advance payments, known as Economic Impact Payments, which looked like this:

  • Your first Economic Impact Payment was $1,200 ($2,400 if married filing jointly for 2020) plus $500 for each qualifying child you had in 2020.
  • Your second Economic Impact Payment was $600 ($1,200 if married filing jointly for 2020) plus $600 for each qualifying child you had in 2020.

Anyone who did not receive the full tax credit as an advance payment can claim the Recovery Rebate Credit on Form 1040 or 1040-SR when filing their 2020 taxes. Here are the instructions from the IRS:

If eligible, you can claim the Recovery Rebate Credit when you file your 2020 tax return (Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR) electronically using tax software or on paper. The 2020 tax return instructions include a worksheet you can use to figure the amount of any Recovery Rebate Credit for which you are eligible. The worksheet requires you to know the amounts of your Economic Impact Payments.

If you aren’t sure how much money your Economic Impact Payments should have included, the IRS sent out Notice 1444 for the first EIP and Notice 1444-B for the second. These notices will let you know the amounts to write down on the Recovery Rebate Credit Worksheet, which in turn will help you calculate your credit amount.

Finally, if you have any additional questions or concerns about either of your stimulus checks, be sure to make an account on if you haven’t already. The EIP amounts will be uploaded there soon.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.