What do I do if I didn’t get my stimulus check in 2020?

By Christine Tran, 2020 Get It Back Campaign Intern

If you didn’t get your stimulus check in 2020, don’t worry — you can still claim the payment in 2021 as a tax credit. The stimulus check is a federal tax credit for the 2020 tax year, known as the Recovery Rebate Credit. You can claim the Recovery Rebate Credit by filing your taxes in 2021 for Tax Year 2020.

If you did not qualify for a stimulus check based on your 2018 or 2019 taxes, you can claim the Recovery Rebate Credit if you are eligible based on your 2020 tax return. For example, if you were claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return  (see Q C6), you were not eligible for a stimulus check. However, if that changed in 2020 and you meet the other eligibility requirements, you can claim the credit on your 2020 federal tax return.

You can also claim the Recovery Rebate Credit on your 2020 tax return if you did not receive the full amount of the stimulus check you are eligible for. For example, some people did not receive the additional $500 for dependents who are under 17 (see Q C5). If your income decreased in 2020 and you only received a partial stimulus check because of your 2018 or 2019 income (see Q B12), you could claim the additional money when you file your 2020 federal tax return.

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