The IRS extended tax deadline set for May 17 is rapidly approaching. This means that time is running out for some Americans to make sure that they receive their third-round stimulus payment of up to $1,400.
The IRS has recently begun to shift its focus on distributing stimulus payments to those Americans whose eligibility for payment was tied to their filing of a 2020 tax return. The most recent batch of payments sent out by the IRS was comprised primarily of payments sent to Americans about whom the IRS did not have sufficient information until it processed their 2020 returns. In addition, the ninth batch of payments also included a large number of supplemental payments that the IRS calls “plus-up” payments. These payments are sent to people whose initial eligibility for a stimulus payment of up to $1,400 was made based on information in their 2019 tax returns, but whose 2020 returns indicate a loss of income or a change in dependent status that entitles them to more money.
Those people who fall into one of these categories but who have not yet filed their 2020 tax returns should be sure to do so before the deadline in order to make certain that they receive all of the stimulus money that they are eligible for. Those people who do not feel they will be able to meet the deadline are able to file for an extension until October 15.
Anybody who does not meet the deadline, or who for whatever reason does not receive their full payment, may still be able to do so in the future. A recovery rebate credit has been included in tax returns this year, allowing those people who did not receive all or some of the money that they were eligible for as part of the first two rounds of federal stimulus payments to do so by filing a 2020 tax return. If a similar rebate credit is included next year, people may be able to claim unpaid money from their third stimulus payment on their 2021 tax returns.
It is important that everybody who receives a third-round stimulus payment, even if it is for less than they are eligible for, holds onto the confirmation notice sent to them by the IRS. This notice, which the IRS refers to as Notice 1444-C, will likely be required for claiming any unpaid money in the future.
In addition to their importance for claiming stimulus payments, 2020 tax returns also contain a number of other potential benefits that many Americans may be eligible for.
Eli Fuhrman is a contributing writer for The National Interest.