Now that we’ve been through two rounds of, we’ve learned a lot, including , , and . If you’re getting ready to claim missing money from the first or second stimulus check on your taxes as a , or if you’re just looking ahead to a potential that is , we’ve got some tips on how to resolve for millions of people — including or .
If you address some of these potential roadblocks now, it could potentially bring you yourearlier — or get you your , if and when .
Here are some things to get in order so that your stimulus rebate or potential future payment come through faster. We’ve also got more information on, and later this year.
File your taxes early if you’re going to claim missing stimulus money
If you’re one of the millions of people who didn’t receive the stimulus moneyin the first or second round of payments, you can on your as a Recovery Rebate Credit (estimate how much you might be owed by using CNET’s and ). The IRS said it will , and estimates that the the first week of March. The deadline to file your federal income tax will be April 15.
We recommend filing your taxes as early as you can, andwhen you do (more on that below). Not only will doing both of these things help you get your tax refund with that missing stimulus money faster, but it will also make you more likely to receive your sooner, especially .
Set up direct deposit when you file your taxes
that links directly to your bank account when you file your 2020 tax return will benefit you in two ways. For one, you’ll get your tax return (with your Recovery Rebate Credit for your missing stimulus money added in) faster. The IRS said the best and quickest way to get your tax refund is to have it electronically deposited for free into your bank account. You can set up up to three different bank accounts if you’d like to split your tax refund between them.
If you set up a direct deposit and file your return electronically with, you can also expect a faster return than if you printed your return out and mailed it in. The IRS said it expects nine out of 10 taxpayers to receive their refund within 21 days of when they file electronically with direct deposit, if there are no issues with their tax return.
Including your direct deposit information on your tax return has another benefit: If and when a, people with direct deposit set up through the IRS are typically , as opposed to those who are or an . Here’s how much .
Make sure the IRS has your current address
If you moved to a new address after filing your 2019 tax return (or any time during the), you need to do two things to make sure your stimulus check and other important information about the payment can reach you: .
You need to do this even if your new location is temporary — you can always update your details if you move again. Even if your first or second check came(which means a potential third check likely would, too), you still want to make sure your address is updated so that you . If the letter arrives, but your funds do not, you’d know you have an issue to resolve, likely by . (If you it contains.)
Confirm that your banking details are up to date
If your banking status changes, or if you closed the bank account the IRS has on file for you, it could— possibly returning it before it ever reaches you.
The IRS said it has a number of ways to find your banking information, including from your 2019 tax return (and likely your 2020 return when you submit it), from theor if you used it last year, or from another federal agency that uses your banking details to issue benefits, such as the Social Security Administration (like if you ). But if that information is out of date, the bank will return that payment to the government, leading you to have to file for a to get that money back with your tax refund.
If you don’t have a bank account, would like one and aren’t sure where to get started, several large banks, including Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, now offer more affordable checkless bank accounts as part of a government-backed effort to help people enter the banking system.
Make sure you’re actually eligible for a stimulus check
, as some of the changed after the first round. It’s possible that the rules will change again if a .
Here’s who qualified for the second round,on your 2018 or 2019 taxes:
- If you’re a single filer and earn less than $87,000
- If you file as the head of a household and earn under $124,500
- If you file jointly with your spouse and earn less than $174,000
However, there were a lot of exceptions and rules depending on your situation, and the same will likely be true of a future third check (you can find a more detailed list of).
Will my third stimulus check go toward my debts?
For the most part, your stimulus money is yours to use as you please. But there are.
Under the(that’s the first stimulus check), if you owed more than $150 in (called arrears), your state may have reserved the right to , based on how much you owed. However, the second stimulus check could not be taken for overdue child support. This change was widely understood across federal and state agencies. Find out more about .
With the first stimulus check, private banks and creditors were able to seize a payment to cover an outstanding debt. However, some states, such as California, issued orders forbidding banks and creditors from garnishing your stimulus check. With the second stimulus check, your payment was protected from bank garnishment and from private creditors and debt collectors, according to the text of the law. However, individual banks could choose to take that money to cover overdraft fees. Again, we don’t yet know if this would change with a third check.
For more, find out what your stimulus check could look like, , or .