The IRS is contacting millions of people who may still be eligible for $1,400 stimulus checks and special tax credits worth thousands more.
Some people who did not receive the third federal stimulus check can now get a Recovery Rebate Credit payment, the IRS says. These stimulus checks first went out in March 2021, paying up to $1,400 per person to those eligible.
The IRS officially finished issuing these checks last year, but eligible people who didn’t receive one may still be able to get what they're owed either on their tax refund or by paying a reduced amount in taxes. Among those who are potentially eligible for the third stimulus check are people who gained a dependent or had their income drop in 2021.
The IRS said in a news release Thursday that letters will go out in the next few weeks to 9 million people to remind them that credits are available. The recipients will be people who don’t typically have tax return filing requirements because their income is low.
Stimulus payments, tax credits still available
In the new letter, the IRS is reminding people to file their 2021 tax returns — an essential step for those eligible to claim stimulus check payments and other credits. (If you already filed your taxes for 2021, you've likely already taken advantage of these tax credits and payments.)
The agency says people who haven't filed tax returns in previous years may benefit significantly by filing a 2021 tax return. It's the only way to secure not only the rebate credit, but also certain other tax credits that were expanded in the American Rescue Plan Act and other legislation.
“We don't want people to overlook these tax credits, and the letters will remind people of their potential eligibility and steps they can take,” IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said.
The expanded 2021 child tax credit, which is available for taxpayers who meet certain income requirements, totals $3,000 per child between ages 6 and 17 and $3,600 for children ages 5 under.
The American Rescue Plan also increased the Earned Income Tax Credit significantly for workers who do not have children. Some low- and moderate-income families are eligible for expanded benefits under this tax credit as well.
The late filing deadline for 2021 tax returns is Oct. 17, but taxpayers can still access tax credits after that date. The IRS says it will offer its free filing service until Nov. 17 for people who earn $73,000 or less, giving plenty of time to claim these benefits.
You can find out the amount of all three of your stimulus checks by logging into your IRS online account.
Back in January, the IRS sent out letters about the third stimulus checks to help people determine if they should claim the rebate credit on their 2021 tax returns. That letter, which is called Letter 6475, shows your total payment for the third checks.