The IRS sent you must-have info to claim your absent stimulus money. Here’s how to find it


You may not be able to claim your missing payment during tax season without these details.

Sarah Tew/CNET

If you’re still missing your stimulus money, either the first round of payments for $1,200 or the second stimulus check for $600, the IRS has a plan in place. You claim the amount you’re eligible for as a “Recovery Rebate Credit” when you file your federal taxes during the upcoming tax season.

The IRS’ plan for claiming your missing money includes referring to information in a letter the agency mailed you a few weeks after each it issued your stimulus check money.

But what if you don’t have the letter, maybe because you didn’t receive it, you can’t find it now or you mistakenly threw it away? We’ll explain exactly how to get a copy. Also, here’s more information on how you’ll file for the stimulus credit, why you might want to file your taxes early and set up direct deposit when you do, and everything a new stimulus bill could contain, including a new stimulus check for more than double the second payment. This story updated recently.

What are Notices 1444 and 1444-B and how can you use them to claim your money?

Within 15 days after the IRS issued your first and second payments — if you qualified for stimulus money — the agency would have mailed a notice to your last known address with your information on the payment. For the first payment, the IRS would have sent you Notice 1444 and for the second, Notice 1444-B. 

The IRS said you’ll use the information from these notices to claim money you were eligible to receive, but didn’t, when you file for taxes this year. Here’s more information on using the Recovery Rebate Credit Worksheet to figure out the credit you can claim on your taxes. You’ll essentially enter the total amount you determine you’re owed on line 30 of the 2020 1040 or 1040-SR tax forms.

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Where can I find the information that was on my IRS notice if I don’t have the letter?

If you don’t have the IRS confirmation notice, you can find the information on your federal tax account, using the IRS website. 

If you don’t have an account set up with the IRS, head to the IRS account page and tap the blue button that says Create or view your account to get started.

You’ll need to have some information on hand to set up your account, including tax and financial information, plus an email address and a mobile phone number to receive activation codes.


The IRS has sent out two rounds of stimulus payments.

Sarah Tew/CNET

What should I do if I can’t complete the IRS registration?

The online registration process can take about 15 minutes. During the setup process, the IRS will first email and then text two activation codes. If the codes don’t come through, the agency will mail you a letter with an activation code, which can take 5 to 10 days to get to you. If you want to track the letter, you can use this free service from the USPS.

Once you’ve set up your online account with the IRS, you can check your account for the information contained in the notice. If your stimulus payment information is not available when you check, the IRS said it should be in the coming weeks.

For more information on tax season and your stimulus check, here’s what you need to know about tax deadlines, why you want to file early and how to estimate the size of your second check. (You can also estimate the size of your next stimulus check.)