What is the Recovery Rebate Credit?
The Recovery Rebate Credit is a tax credit against your 2020 income tax. Generally, this credit will increase the amount of your tax refund or decrease the amount of taxes you owe.
The Recovery Rebate Credit was eligible to be paid in two rounds of advance payments referred to as the first and second Economic Impact Payment (Stimulus Payments).
Individuals who received the full amounts of both Economic Impact Payments do not need to complete any information about the Recovery Rebate Credit on their 2020 tax returns.
- Your first Economic Impact Payment was $1,200 ($2,400 if married filing jointly for 2020) plus $500 for each qualifying child you had in 2020; and
- Your second Economic Impact Payment was $600 ($1,200 if married filing jointly for 2020) plus $600 for each qualifying child you had in 2020.
Who can claim the Recovery Rebate Credit?
Eligible individuals who did not receive the full amounts of both Economic Impact Payments may claim the Recovery Rebate Credit on their 2020 Form 1040 or 1040-SR.
- To determine whether you are an eligible individual, or the amount of your Recovery Rebate Credit, complete the Recovery Rebate Credit Worksheet in the Instructions for Form 1040 and Form 1040-SR.
You must file Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR in your tax return to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit even if you are normally not required to file a tax return.
- Anyone with an income of $72,000 or less can file their Federal tax return electronically for free through the IRS Free File Program.
Form 1040 and 1040-SR Instructions – Recovery Rebate Credit Worksheet
The 2020 tax return instructions include a worksheet you can use to figure the amount of any Recovery Rebate Credit for which you are eligible. The worksheet requires you to know the amounts of your Economic Impact Payments.
To access the worksheet go to https://www.irs.gov/forms-pubs/about-form-1040
- Open the PDF version of “Instructions for Form 1040 and Form 1040-SR
- Go to page 59
How do I find the amounts of my Economic Impact Payments?
You should have received IRS Notice 1444 for the first Economic Impact Payment, and you should receive Notice 1444-B for the second Economic Impact Payment. You will use the information from these letters to determine the amounts to include on the Recovery Rebate Credit Worksheet or in your tax preparation software to help you calculate your credit amount.
Get the information you need from your account
Log in to your Federal tax account online to view what you may need when you electronically file your 2020 tax return (Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR). Two important reasons to have an account now are:
In the coming weeks, individuals with an account on IRS.gov/account will be able to view the amounts of the Economic Impact Payments they received.
Some people will need the amount of their adjusted gross income from 2019 if they use different software to file their tax returns for 2020.