The Internal Revenue Service says, as required by law, it has issued all the first and second round Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) that were legally permitted. So, the IRS is now turning its full attention to the 2021 filing season.
Beginning in April of 2020, the IRS and the U.S. Department of the Treasury began delivering the first round of Economic Impact Payments just two weeks after the enabling legislation was passed.
More than 160 million EIPs were issued to taxpayers totaling over $270 billion. This was done while the IRS had to simultaneously manage an extended filing season. Since Congress enacted the COVID-related Tax Relief Act of 2020, the IRS has delivered more than 147 million second-round Economic Impact Payments totaling over $142 billion.
Terms of the legislation dictated that the second round of payments had to be issued by Jan. 15, 2021.
Some of the second-round EIPs may yet be in the mail. But the IRS says it has issued all the first- and second-round Economic Impact Payments permitted by the law, based on eligibility.
The online IRS tool, Get My Payment, was last updated on Jan. 29 to show the final payments. The agency says Get My Payment won’t be updated again for first- or second-round EIPs.
The Recovery Rebate Credit remains for those not receiving EIPs
Most people who are eligible for the Recovery Rebate Credit have already received it, in advance, through the two rounds of Economic Impact Payments.
Those who didn’t receive an EIP—or didn’t get the full amounts—may be able to qualify for the Recovery Rebate Credit, but will have to file a 2020 income tax return to get it.
Eligibility for the credit and the amount a taxpayer is entitled to are based on 2020 tax year information. Economic Impact Payments were based on 2019 tax year information.
For the first round of Economic Impact Payments, a 2018 return may have been used for qualification if the 2019 return was not filed or processed.
Be prepared before filing
To claim the Recovery Rebate Credit, individuals need to know the amounts of any Economic Impact Payments they received. People who do not have their Economic Impact Payment notices can get the numbers of their first- and second-round EIPs through their individual online account.
Each spouse of married couples who file jointly will have to log into their own account.
The IRS urges taxpayers to file a complete and accurate tax return to avoid delays in refunds. Using a trusted tax professional can ensure that the taxpayer is claiming the credits and deductions they are qualified for and that the return will be e-filed securely. Using direct deposit further speeds up the process.
Direct deposit options go beyond just bank accounts. Many prepaid debit cards and several mobile apps can also be used to receive direct deposits when a routing and account number is provided on the return.
For more information, check out Publication 5486, Claiming the Recovery Rebate Credit on a 2020 Tax Return; and the Instructions for Forms 1040 and 1040-SR.