Taxpayers who were eligible for an advance payment of a recovery rebate credit, known as an economic impact payment (EIP), but did not receive it can claim a refundable tax credit in the corresponding amount: $1,200 for a single taxpayer or $2,400 for married taxpayers filing jointly, plus $500 per qualifying child under Sec. 24(c). Like the payment, the credit is phased down by 5% of adjusted gross income (AGI) over $75,000 for single individuals ($150,000 for a joint return and $112,500 for a head of household). The second round of economic impact payments, in the amount of $600 per eligible taxpayer, are similarly treated as an advance payment of a refundable tax credit.
The IRS used information from taxpayers’ 2019 or 2018 returns to determine eligibility for the EIP and the bank direct deposit information or address for where to send it; if the taxpayer did not file those returns (and did not use the IRS’s web portal for non-filers) or the return information was lacking or changed, the taxpayer could need to claim the credit. The IRS advises that taxpayers should have received Notice 1444, Your Economic Impact Payment, within 15 days after receiving their payment to confirm it. The IRS also states that when taxpayers file their 2020 tax return they can refer to Notice 1444 and claim additional credits if they are eligible for them. Individuals who received an EIP that was calculated based on their 2018 or 2019 return do not have to repay all or a portion of the EIP they received if, based on their 2020 return, they would qualify for a lesser amount. No credit is allowed to taxpayers who could be claimed as the dependent of another taxpayer (even if required to file a return), to nonresident aliens, or to individuals without a Social Security number valid for employment in the United States.