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Home / Tips and Tricks / Third Incentive Checks and Tax Season FAQ: Things can get messy

Third Incentive Checks and Tax Season FAQ: Things can get messy



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The IRS can base your next incentive check on your 2019 or 2020 tax return.

Sarah Tew / CNET

A third stimulus check reached an important milestone late Friday night, when the House of Representatives passed the $ 1.9 trillion stimulus packageBut the timing of the new incentive payment has been shown to cause more headaches than before, for a simple reason: tax seasonThe IRS began to officially accept it tax returns on February 12, which means tens of millions $ 1400 checks could arrive when Americans are elbows deep in tax forms

The confluence of tax season and stimulus control No. 3 left a lot of questions: Want your third stimulus check qualify depending on your taxes for 2019 or your 2020 returnWill the IRS Count One of Three Checks as Taxable Income? What happens if you did not file a tax return in 2019 or did not submit your 2020 tax return before the bill has suitability has changed since you submitted the last application?

We have answers for you according to the most recent proposal for a third stimulus checkOf course, we won’t know for sure until we can read the final language in a new bill, which could change between now and when the bill becomes law. We will continue to update this story.

Why the next stimulus check could come during tax season

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she expects Congress to have a final bill ready for Biden to sign the law on March 14. some unemployment benefits lapseIf Congress follows that timeline, a third stimulus check could come during tax season.

This makes things a bit more complicated. First, the IRS is already inclusive make up incentive money from the first two checks with your tax refund this yearIt also means the IRS will likely use the tax return they most recently filed (more below).


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Will the incentive check be based on 2019 or 2020 taxes?

The most recent Democratic Proposal (PDF) states that the IRS would determine your total third stimulus payment based on your adjusted gross income, or AGI, of your Tax returns 2020 or 2019 – what the IRS most recently has on file at the time of payment.

This can have several implications. For example, if you made more in 2020 than in 2019, but the IRS uses your return for 2019 (and gives you more incentive money than you may qualify for), then you don’t have to return that money (more below).

The IRS is now accepting tax returns for 2020. For several reasons, we recommend filing your taxes as soon as possible. The sooner you submit a file, the sooner you will get your tax refund (you can estimate the total hereAnd each missing out on any incentive money you claimed upon your return. You also get a chance set up direct deposit with the IRS, or fix any bugs that may be get your third stimulus check faster

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With tax returns and third-party incentive checks potentially taking place at the same time, the IRS could have its hands full.

Angela Lang / CNET

What’s the situation if you made more money in 2020, but the IRS uses your 2019 taxes?

The most recent proposal says the following:

Taxpayers who receive an advance in excess of their maximum eligible credit based on 2021 tax return information will not be required to return any amount of the payment to the Treasury. If a taxpayer’s 2021 tax credit exceeds the advance amount, taxpayers can claim the difference on their 2021 tax return.

Therefore, if you are eligible for the full $ 1,400 based on your taxes for 2020but the IRS issued your check based on your 2019 taxes, you could claim the difference a year from now on your 2021 tax return – just like the current one Credit for chargeback discount in front of missing stimulus check money from the first two rounds.

On the other hand, it also means that if you qualify for the full incentive payment based on your 2019 taxes, but don’t qualify based on your 2020 taxes, and if the IRS has used your 2019 return, you the IRS back for that difference.

What happens if your incentive payment never arrives or if money is missing?

Once a final bill is approved, if you qualify for a third stimulus check, but yours never shows up direct deposit paper check or EIP card, you probably have to take one more step to claim that money. This happened to millions of people during the first and second round of payments different reasons, including IRS errors, outdated bank information, or addresses and nonfilers who don’t go the extra mile to get the IRS their information.

As with the first and second check, you can claim all the missing money from the third check to you or your family members during tax season The next year 2022. That is far away. The best thing you can do now to make sure your third check arrives on time is to file your tax return as soon as possibleeven if you don’t usually need to submit one.

To learn more, read what we know about a third stimulus check and which we believe qualify This time.


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