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Cash & Expenses

Stimulus payments during COVID-19

Economic Impact Payments (EIP) | Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

1. How it Works

The IRS sent three Economic Impact Payments (stimulus payments) to adults and families with work-eligible Social Security Numbers (SSN). These payments were sent in 2020 and 2021. If you did not get your payments, claim the Recovery Rebate Credit on your 2021 or 2020 tax return.

  • You must have a Social Security number (SSN) to get a payment. You can live in a household where someone does not have an SSN.
  • The maximum amount you could get for each payment was:
    • First payment: $1,200 per adult and $500 for every dependent age 16 or younger.
    • Second payment: $600 per adult and $600 for every dependent age 16 or younger.
    • Third payment: $1,400 per adult and $1,400 for every dependent no matter the age.
  • Payments were sent by direct deposit, check, or pre-paid card.
  • Most people got their payments if they filed tax returns in the past year or signed up with the IRS Non-Filer Tool.
  • If you did not get a payment, file a tax return and claim the Recovery Rebate Credit. File even if you do not usually file taxes.
    • File a 2020 tax return if you did not get the first or second payment.
    • File a 2021 tax return if you did not get the third payment.
  • You do not need a permanent address, bank account, or job to get your stimulus payments.
    • When you file a tax return to claim your payments, you may list the address of another person on the tax return. Your payment will be mailed to this address.
    • You can list the address of a friend, relative, trusted service provider, or non-profit. This include shelters, drop-in day centers, or transitional housing programs.

2. Determine your eligibility

You can claim the Recovery Rebate Credit (RRC) on your 2020 tax return if:

  • you did not get your first or second stimulus payment; or
  • you believe that IRS does not have the right information (you have a new child/dependent, you moved, etc.); or
  • you did not get the full amount owed to you.

You can claim the Recovery Rebate Credit (RRC) on your 2021 tax return if:

  • you did not get your third stimulus payment; or
  • you believe that IRS does not have the right information (you have a new child/dependent, you moved, etc.); or
  • you did not get the full amount owed to you.

You are not eligible to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit on a 2020 or 2021 tax return if any of the following applies:

  • You are claimed as a dependent on another taxpayer’s 2020 or 2021 return
  • You do not have a Social Security number that is valid for employment issued before the due date of your 2020 or 2021 tax return (including extensions).
    • Some exceptions apply for those who file married filing jointly. Only one spouse must have a valid Social Security number to claim the credit.
  • You are a nonresident alien.
  • You are an estate or trust.
  • Also, you cannot claim the credit on a 2020 return for someone who died before January 1, 2020.

Next section:

3. How to Apply

3. How to apply

Here are your options.

Apply online

Claim the Recovery Rebate Credit on your 2020 or 2021 federal tax return if you did not get your payments or got less than the full amount.

  • You may also need Notice 1444 Economic Impact Payment. This document shows how much of a payment you received, if any. This amount is needed to calculate any Recovery Rebate Credit you may be eligible for.

If you earned $72,000 or less in 2021, you can file your taxes for free with NYC Free Tax Prep. IRS-certified VITA/TCE volunteer preparers are available to help you file. Some sites can help you file prior year returns.

  • Virtual Tax Prep: A preparer can help you file your tax return during a 60-90 minute virtual call.
  • Assisted Self-Prep: Complete your tax return on your own. A preparer will be available by phone or email to answer your questions.

File online

Apply in person

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More ways to get help with this program

Visit the websites

Learn more about the Recovery Rebate Credit from the IRS.

Learn more about other tax credits from the NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection.

Immigrants can make an appointment with ActionNYC to receive assistance.

Call 311

Ask for tax preparation assistance.

Find a VITA or TCE location

Call 800-906-9887 to find the nearest Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) or Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE).

Last Updated Thursday, February 17th, 2:55pm

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