Looking for a Stimulus Check? File a Tax Return

Looking for a Stimulus Check? File a Tax Return

Some Americans Are Still Waiting for Pandemic Checks

Pandemic stimulus checks have landed in millions of Americans’ bank accounts, but many people are still waiting for their payments and wondering what they should do.

Since the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package passed in March, the Internal Revenue Service has mailed out or deposited 163 million stimulus payments, amounting to $384 billion. The IRS said it will continue to make payments until the end of 2021. There are a few tactics Americans can employ if they have not yet received their stimulus payments.

Filing Taxes by May 17 Could Help

For people who are still owed a $1,400 March stimulus check or who have not received the two previous payouts, the government recommends filing a federal tax return by the May 17 deadline. As the IRS processes tax returns it is capturing individuals’ information and is issuing checks to those who were not on record before.

The IRS is also issuing so-called plus payments to people who did not get the full amount they deserved earlier in the pandemic. If the filer’s income declined from last year or another dependent was added to a family, a household could be eligible for more stimulus money.

Non-Filers Should File 2020 Returns

Individuals who do not normally file taxes but receive federal benefits are being urged to file a tax return to ensure eligible dependents are included in the stimulus payout calculations. By filing a tax return the IRS can determine if an individual is eligible for more tax credits including the enhanced child tax credit or earned income tax credit. If tax filers miss the May 17 deadline, they can claim missing stimulus money by filing a tax extension until October 15.

The stimulus checks have played an important role in boosting the economy but countless people are still wondering when they will receive their benefits. Filing tax returns should provide clarity and maybe even more cash.

P.S. The deadline for making IRA contributions for tax year 2020 has been extended to May 17, 2021. Make a contribution before tax day in the SoFi app.

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ABOUT Meg Richardson Meg Richardson is a writer specializing in markets, technology, and personal finance. She loves breaking down seemingly complex ideas and making them readable and interesting for everyone. She holds an MFA in writing from Columbia University. When she is not writing about finance, she enjoys running in Central Park and drawing cartoons.

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