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This is what happens when a third stimulus check arrives during tax season



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

Sarah Tew / CNET

With one eye on the faltering US economy and the other on the ongoing pandemic, Congress is rushing to approve President Joe Biden’s $ 1.9 trillion stimulus package in mid-March to provide assistance to individuals and families, including one, as soon as possible third stimulus check from up to $ 1,400 per personIf Democrats in the House and Senate stick to that mid-March date for the new bill, the new incentive payment falls right in the middle of tax season: Exactly as it is processed Federal Tax Returns 2020, the IRS will also broadcast the next wave of checks

As if that weren’t enough to put on the IRS’s board, Congress may also require the agency to go to your Tax forms for 2020 if you have submitted them to determine your paymentDoing so will give the IRS a better picture of your economic situation during the pandemic to make your judgment qualify for a checkBut what if you have not yet submitted an application? And what if your third check never arrives or you receive less than you think you should

We have answers for you based on pointers from most recent proposal for a third stimulus checkHowever, we won’t know for sure until we can read the latest language in a new bill. We will continue to update this story.

Why would your third stimulus check arrive during the tax return 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 (which it can, because of a legislative tool that Congressional Democrats use to push through Republican opposition), a third stimulus check could come during the tax season, which lasts until April 15

This makes things a bit more complicated. First, the IRS is already inclusive catch-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 IRS base your third incentive check on your 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 (AGI) of your Tax returns 2020 or 2019 – what the IRS has last on file at the time of payment.

This can have various consequences. 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 stimulus money you claimed upon your return. You also have the chance to set up direct deposit with the IRS, or fix any errors that may be you give your third stimulus check faster

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With tax returns and third-party stimulus checks potentially happening at the same time, the IRS may have its hands full.

Angela Lang / CNET

What if you made more money in 2020, but the check is based on your 2019 taxes?

The most recent proposal (PDF) says the following:

Taxpayers who receive an advance that exceeds their maximum eligible credit based on information on the 2021 tax return will not be required to return any amount of the payment to the Treasury. If a taxpayer’s 2021 tax credit exceeds the amount of the advance, 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 Refund 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 do not have to pay IRS back for that discrepancy.

What happens if your third stimulus check does not arrive 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, or non-filers who don’t go the extra mile to get the IRS their information.

As with the first and second check, during tax season you can claim all the missing money from the third check that is owed to you or your family members The next year, 2022. That’s a long way off. The best thing to 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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