The IRS has beenthis week, including “plus-up payments” — stimulus money the agency may owe you if it calculated your allotment of the based on older tax information instead of your . But if you already got your check, are you still eligible for a plus-up payment? How will you know if yours is on the way? And when might that catch-up money arrive? (Here’s online and .)
If the IRS used older information toin order to for a , you may be owed more money once the agency processes your 2020 tax return. That’s where plus-up payments come in — they’re a new thing for stimulus checks, and entirely due to the fact that the $1,400 payments are being delivered in the middle of .
But what can you expect if you, or haven’t filed your ? (Unless you , you’ll have to file by the .) What if your since you last filed, like if you or ? We’ve got the details you need. Also, here are , what we know about a and , and how to from the . This story has been updated recently.
Why you may get a plus-up payment for your stimulus check
For taxpayers, stimulus checks are based on your, from your most recent tax return. There are several reasons you may find the IRS owes you a plus-up payment for your third stimulus check. Note that if you’re owed any money from the , you’ll need to claim it in your 2020 taxes as a . The plus-up payment only applies to the third check. You may get a plus-up payment if:
- The IRS calculated your third check based on 2019 taxes (or earlier), but you’re owed more money based on your 2020 taxes.
- You’re a , but you submitted new information in a 2020 tax form to let the IRS know about any that the agency may not know about.
- Your first payment didn’t include all your dependents, like a .
Here’s how to know if you’re eligible for a plus-up payment
The IRS is automatically sending out plus-up payments for people it calculates should receive one. There are several ways to gauge whether you should expect a payment adjustment. We recommend being proactive about this one, so you aren’t mistakenly leaving hundreds or thousands of dollars behind in case there’s an issue receiving your plus-up money.
- Know . Compare that with how much you actually received. If there’s a big difference, you may be owed a catch-up payment.
- Check the to see if your payment information has changed. For example, you may see that another plus-up payment has been scheduled for you. We’ve asked the IRS for clarification.
- If you received a stimulus payment electronically by or a , periodically check your balance to see if a new payment has arrived.
- If you got your stimulus check through the mail and think you may be owed a payment, you can use this to see when mail is coming your way — including another stimulus check.
- Keep your from the IRS. If you need to claim a plus-up payment in the future, you’ll need this information on hand.
When will plus-up payments arrive? And for how long?
The IRS has said it’s sending plus-up payments weekly. The payment schedule will be largely tied to the rate at which the IRS can process 2020 tax returns. The IRS is currently accepting 2020 tax returns through . (If you’re expecting a tax refund that includes from the , we especially recommend if you don’t already have it, so you’ll .)
There are several implications to this. For example, if you earned more in 2020 than in 2019, but the IRS uses your 2019 return and gives you more stimulus money than you might be eligible for, you(more below). This is assuming you haven’t filed your 2020 taxes. The IRS has between now and the Dec. 31 .
If you’re owed a plus-up payment, you shouldn’t have toor do anything else to claim it, other than file your 2020 tax return as soon as possible.
What should you do if your plus-up payment never arrives?
The IRS has until Dec. 31, 2021, to finish sending stimulus check payments, and that will include the catch-up payments for people who are still owed stimulus money. But if the automatic adjustment never arrives, what should you do?
If you know how much stimulus money you should expect,, and the amount the IRS tells you to expect differs greatly from the , you’ll need to keep an eagle eye out for payment adjustments.
If the extra money never arrives, you may need to file a claim, either later in 2021 (if the IRS opens up an adjustment window) or potentially a year from now on your 2021 tax return. This is much like the currentfor from the first two rounds of stimulus payments.
We’ve asked the IRS for more information on how long it could take to send out all of these supplemental payments, and what to do if your plus-up payment never arrives. We’ll update this story when we get more information.
What if the IRS uses your 2019 tax return, but you earned more money in 2020?
If you qualify for the fullbased on your 2019 taxes but don’t qualify based on your 2020 taxes — assuming the IRS used your 2019 return — you won’t have to pay the IRS back for that discrepancy. Here are situations where you would .
What if the IRS still hasn’t processed your 2019 taxes?
Due to pandemic-related delays, the IRS is still working its way through a backlog of paper tax returns from 2019. As of the end of January 2021, there were 6.7 million individual income tax returns for 2019 that had yet to be processed, according to the agency. These processing delays could be due to a number of things, including a mistake, missing information, or suspected identity theft or fraud. If the IRS contacts you for more information, you should get a letter. Resolving the problem then depends on how quickly and accurately you get back to the agency.
However, the new bill specifies that a bill says: “On the basis of information available to the Secretary shall, on the basis of such information, determine the advance refund amount with respect to such individual.”will be based on your 2019 or 2020 tax return — not your 2018 one. The
If your 2019 tax return is still being processed, the best thing to do right now is to Janet Holtzblatt, a senior fellow at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center. But if the holdup in processing your 2019 return is due to a problem that also occurs on your 2020 return, your 2020 return may get slowed down, which could delay your payment, Holtzblatt said.as soon as you can, according to
What if you never get your third stimulus payment, or if any money is missing?
If you’re, but yours never arrives by , , or Direct Express card (for example if you or ), you’ll likely have to take another step to claim that money. This happened to millions of people during the for , including IRS errors, out-of-date banking information or and to get the IRS their information.
Much like with the first and second checks, you’ll likely be able to claim any missing money from the third check owed to you or your dependents during tax season next year, 2022. However, the IRS has yet to say if there will be an opportunity to. The best thing to do right now to make sure your third check does arrive is to , even if you don’t usually have to file one.
For more, check out what you should and shouldn’t do, and what we know so far about a .