Time is Running Out: Don’t Miss Out on Your Recovery Rebate Credit


If you’re one of the many who might be eligible for the COVID-era Recovery Rebate Credit in 2020 but haven’t yet filed a tax return, listen up because time is ticking away. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is reminding all eligible individuals to act fast and claim their money before the looming May 17 deadline hits.

You might be wondering, “What exactly is this Recovery Rebate Credit?” It’s basically a refundable credit for those who missed out on one or more Economic Impact Payments, those stimulus checks distributed in 2020 and 2021. So, if you didn’t receive your fair share of the relief money, now’s your chance to get it by filing a tax return. Even if you didn’t have much income or any at all, filing that return is still necessary to claim your Recovery Rebate Credit.

Now, here’s the deal: for all the procrastinators out there, the deadline is May 17, 2024. That’s right, you’ve got until then to file snag the 2020 credit. And for those eyeing the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit, mark your calendars for April 15, 2025 – that’s your deadline.

But wait, there’s more! If you’re owed a refund, you’ve got a window of three years after the filing due date to claim it. So, for all you 2020 tax filers, this year’s May 17 due date marks exactly three years since the original deadline. Don’t miss out on what’s rightfully yours!

Who is Eligible?
Now, who exactly is eligible for this credit, you ask? Well, you need to be a U.S. citizen or resident alien for the respective year, not someone else’s dependent, and you must have a Social Security number issued before the due date of your tax return. Interestingly, the 2020 credit can even be claimed for someone who sadly passed away in 2020 or later.

Help is on the Way!
Feeling overwhelmed by the whole tax filing process? Don’t sweat it! There’s free help available through programs like the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs. These are here to guide you through the process and ensure you get what you’re owed. So, take advantage of these resources if you’re unsure about how to proceed.

Oh, and here’s a little nugget of reassurance for you: there’s absolutely no penalty for claiming a refund on a late-filed tax return. And if you want to speed things up, opting for direct deposit is the way to go – it’s quick and hassle-free.

Now, some of you might be worried about how claiming this credit could affect other benefits or your immigration status. Well, fear not! The Recovery Rebate Credit doesn’t count as income when determining eligibility for federal benefits like Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or assistance programs like SNAP and TANF. Plus, it won’t impact your immigration status or your eligibility for a green card. So, claim away without any worries!

But hey, if you’re one of those high-income non-filers, listen up. The IRS is cracking down on folks who haven’t filed their federal income tax returns, especially those with incomes over $1 million or between $400,000 and $1 million between tax years 2017 and 2021. So, if you fall into this category, it might be time to get your tax affairs in order.

Bottom line: Don’t leave money on the table! If you think you might be eligible for the Recovery Rebate Credit, act now before it’s too late. File your tax return for 2020 and claim what’s rightfully yours. And if you need help along the way, including detailed instructions and helpful tips, reach out to a Certified Tax Planner today. They can help make sure you’re getting all the credits and rebates you deserve!