It’s official. The Internal Revenue Service has finished distributing all direct payments to Americans that were authorized as part of the first and second stimulus packages.
In a news brief this week, the agency said it doled out 160 million stimulus checks to taxpayers during the first round and another 147 million during the second round. Some of the payments may still be in the mail, but if you haven’t received one yet, there’s a good chance you won’t be getting one at all. The IRS says it updated its Get My Payment portal with the latest information at the end of January, and no further updates about the first or second checks are coming.
If you believe you were eligible to receive a first or second stimulus check but never received one, all hope is not lost. The IRS reminded taxpayers that they may be able to claim the payment as a Recovery Rebate Credit on their 2020 tax returns. This is true for taxpayers who never received a check and also those who did not receive the full payment. However, be aware that you will need to know the full amount of any stimulus payments you’ve received so far. You can find this out by checking the notice the IRS sent you in the mail or checking the Get My Payment portal for your info.
One thing to note is that the stimulus checks were mostly based on people’s income from 2019 (or 2018, if 2019 wasn’t available), but the rebate credits are based on 2020 tax information, so if your situation changed from 2019 to 2020, you might still qualify for a rebate credit, even if you didn’t qualify for a check.
The good news is, a third stimulus check is likely to be approved soon: Congress and President Joe Biden are working to come to an agreement on a broader package before current federal benefits expire next month.
You can check out the IRS website to see if you’re eligible for the rebate here. Good luck.