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VERIFY: Yes, you may qualify for a tax rebate if your stimulus check was less than you expected

The Verify team spoke to the experts about what should be done if you haven't received a stimulus check or if it's smaller than expected. Here's what we learned.

WASHINGTON — QUESTION:

What should you do if your stimulus check, from either round one or round two, did not arrive? What if the check was less than expected? 

ANSWER:

If one qualifies for a payment that was not received, they should file for a Recovery Rebate Credit on their 2020 taxes. If they do qualify for the payment, they will receive it as a tax rebate in the upcoming tax season. 

SOURCES:

Process:

The Verify team has received hundreds of emails from viewers with numerous questions about stimulus checks. 

A full recap of the biggest questions and answers can be found here. This link answers questions including the following:

  • - How big are the checks, and who qualifies? 
  • - Which dependents qualify, and which do not? What if you had a baby?
  • - Will those on social security receive a check? 
  • - When will people receive these checks? 
  • - Are undocumented immigrants getting checks, as rumored online? 
  • - Will checks be taxed or garnished? 

But one question that has been sent dozens of times to the Verify team relates to missing checks and what to do if payments are less than expected. 

"I got the $1200," wrote one viewer named Jeanette. "But did not get the $1200 for my kids." 

To Verify what one should do in this situation, our team turned to a pair of accounting experts from the American Institute CPA's. We also looked to guidance from the IRS. 

According to Henry Grzes from AICPA, all payments not received must be claimed in the upcoming tax season. 

“The only way to obtain that," he said. "Both first and second round, if you haven’t gotten it yet, is to claim it on your 2020 tax returns.”

This was confirmed by the IRS, which had the following guidance on their website: 

“Eligible individuals who did not receive an Economic Impact this year," the IRS wrote. "Either the first or the second payment will be able to claim it when they file their 2020 taxes in 2021.”

On the 1040 Tax Form and the 1040-SR Tax Form, line 30 has been added, labeled "Recovery Rebate Credit." If you believe you were underpaid or not paid at all for either yourself or a dependent, this is where one can request a rebate. 

New parents with a qualifying income will be able to claim money for their newborns using this rebate credit as well. 

"You’ll be able to get it," said Grzes. "But in order to do so, you’re going to need to reflect that child on your 2020 tax return.” 

Have more questions? Read the Verify team's full recap of the biggest questions and answers about the stimulus checks here.

You can also send us an email at verify@wusa9.com