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Published: Jan 06, 2022 3 min read
Close-up of a hand taking out a letter from the IRS from their mailbox
Money; Getty Images

Don't panic if a letter from the IRS unexpectedly shows up in your mailbox this month. Tons of Americans are getting them — and the message inside (probably) has nothing to do with an audit.

Starting in late January, the IRS is sending out letters to recipients of the third Economic Impact Payment, aka the COVID-19 stimulus check that went out last year. The notes are intended to help recipients "determine if they are entitled to and should claim the recovery rebate credit on their 2021 tax returns when they file in 2022," according to a recent news release.

It can be confusing, so let's recap. Congress has approved three stimulus checks since the coronavirus pandemic began. The first payment was a maximum of $1,200; most people got it in April 2020. The second was $600; most people got it in December 2020. The third was $1,400; most people got it in March 2021.