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All stimulus checks have been sent out – here’s what to do if you didn’t get yours

Published Feb 17th, 2021 12:37PM EST
Stimulus checks update
Image: Pamela Au/Adobe
  • The IRS announced on Tuesday that it has issued every stimulus check it was permitted to issue from the first and second round of Economic Impact Payments.
  • If you were eligible to receive a stimulus check but did not get the full amount, you can claim a Recovery Rebate Credit on your 2020 taxes to get the money you are owed.
  • The third round of stimulus checks could begin to go out as early as mid-March.

Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package should finally receive a vote in the House and the Senate early next week, bringing us one step closer to a new round of $1,400 stimulus checks. These will be the biggest checks that the government has sent out since the pandemic started, but some eligible Americans still haven’t received one or both of the first two checks. On Tuesday, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) confirmed that it has issued “all legally permitted first and second round of Economic Impact Payments,” but if you didn’t get yours, do not fret. You can still receive the money you’re owed, but you might have to jump through a few hoops to get it.

As the IRS stated in a news release, all of the $1,200 and $600 payments that it was legally permitted to issue have been issued as of February 16th. Some payments might still be in the mail, but if you were eligible to get the payment and the government had your information, your money has been distributed. If you are still waiting for a payment, you should check the Get My Payment tool, which was last updated on January 29th.

Though a vast majority of Americans received their Economic Impact Payments via direct deposit, a check in the mail, or a preloaded debit card, there are those who will need to claim a Recovery Rebate Credit when filing their taxes this year in order to get the money they are owed. Here’s how that works, according to the IRS:

Most people who are eligible for the Recovery Rebate Credit have already received it, in advance, in these two rounds of Economic Impact Payments. If individuals didn’t receive a payment – or if they didn’t receive the full amounts – they may be eligible to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit and must file a 2020 tax return. Eligibility for and the amount of the Recovery Rebate Credit are based on 2020 tax year information while the Economic Impact Payments were based on 2019 tax year information. For the first Economic Impact Payment, a 2018 return may have been used if the 2019 was not filed or processed.

Individuals will need to know the amounts of any Economic Impact Payments they received to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit. Those who don’t have their Economic Impact Payment notices can view the amounts of their first and second Economic Impact Payments through their individual online account. For married filing joint individuals, each spouse will need to log into their own account.

If you happen to fall into this category, be sure to claim that credit to receive your Economic Impact Payment. That said, be sure to keep your eyes and ears open for news about eligibility for the third stimulus check. As we explained last week, there are pros and cons to filing your taxes early depending on how much money you made in 2020 vs. in 2019. We’ll know more about this potential predicament once the bill is signed into law.

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.