IRS reminds eligible 2020 and 2021 non-filers to claim Recovery Rebate Credit before time runs out

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IR-2023-217, Nov. 17, 2023

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service is reminding those who may be entitled to the Recovery Rebate Credit to file a tax return and claim their money before it's too late.

The vast majority of those eligible for Economic Impact Payments related to Coronavirus tax relief have already received them or claimed them through the Recovery Rebate Credit. The deadlines to file a return and claim the 2020 and 2021 credits are May 17, 2024, and April 15, 2025, respectively.

The Recovery Rebate Credit is a refundable credit for those who missed out on one or more Economic Impact Payments. Economic Impact Payments, also referred to as stimulus payments, were issued in 2020 and 2021. The IRS estimates that some individuals and families are still eligible for the payment(s). However, taxpayers must first file a tax return to make their claim even if they had little or no income from a job, business or other source.

Who is eligible?

Generally, to claim the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit, a person must:

  • Have been a U.S. citizen or U.S. resident alien in 2020.
  • Not have been a dependent of another taxpayer for 2020.
  • Have a Social Security number issued before the due date of the tax return that is valid for employment in the United States.

Generally, to claim the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit, a person must:

  • Have been a U.S. citizen or U.S. resident alien in 2021.
  • Not have been a dependent of another taxpayer for 2021.
  • Have a Social Security number issued by the due date of the tax return, claim a dependent who has a Social Security number issued by the due date of the tax return, or claim a dependent with an Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number.

The 2020 RRC can be claimed for someone who died in 2020. The 2020 RRC and 2021 RRC can be claimed for someone who died in 2021 or later.

Filing deadlines if you haven't yet filed a tax return

To claim the:

  • 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit, file a tax return by May 17, 2024.
  • 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit, file a tax return by April 15, 2025.

Get free help

Qualified taxpayers can also find free one-on-one tax preparation help nationwide through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs. Use the VITA Locator Tool or call 800-906-9887 to locate the nearest site.

This is part of an ongoing IRS effort to encourage people who normally are not required to file to look into possible benefits available to them under the tax law. Every year, people can fail to file a tax return even when they may be entitled to tax credits and a refund. The IRS reminds taxpayers that there is no penalty for claiming a refund on a tax return filed after its due date. The fastest and easiest way to get a refund is to choose direct deposit.

People can also use their IRS Online Account to see if they received any Economic Impact Payments and the total amounts.

Any Recovery Rebate Credit received can't be counted as income when determining the ability of someone to be eligible for federal benefits like Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). Claiming the credit also has no effect on an individual's immigration status or their ability to get a green card or immigration benefits.

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