COVID-19: Economic Impact Payments

Information on Economic Impact Payment #1, #2, and #3

COVID relief packages passed by Congress provided three rounds of stimulus payments. If you are unsure about the eligibility and contents of each EIP, you can read more about them at these webpages:

  • For information about EIP #1 click here.

  • For information about EIP #2 click here.

  • For information about EIP #3 click here.

  • For the IRS homepage for all Economic Impact Payments click here.

If you have questions, you should visit this FAQ page, which is regularly updated and has helpful info about eligibility, calculating your payment, and more. The IRS also launched a new hotline to help answer FAQs about stimulus payments, which you can reach at 800-919-9835.

How do I get the Third Economic Impact Payment?
The Third Economic Impact Payments in accordance with the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 are being distributed by the IRS. You can check when and how your payment was sent with the Get My Payment tool.

If you have questions about the Get My Payment tool, visit the IRS Get My Payment FAQ page.

Didn’t get the full First and Second Payments?
If you did not receive the full amount of the first two payments, you may be eligible to claim the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit on your 2020 tax return. Learn more about the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit here.

The Recovery Rebate Credit is authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the COVID-related Tax Relief Act. It 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 the tax you owe.

Eligible individuals who did not receive an Economic Impact Payment this year – either the first or the second payment – will be able to claim it when they file their 2020 taxes in 2021. The IRS urges taxpayers who didn’t receive a payment this year to review the eligibility criteria when they file their 2020 taxes; many people, including recent college graduates, may be eligible to claim it. People will see the Economic Impact Payments (EIP) referred to as the Recovery Rebate Credit (RRC) on Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR since the EIPs are an advance payment of the RRC.

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.

Generally, you are eligible to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit if you were a U.S. citizen or U.S. resident alien in 2020, cannot be claimed as a dependent of another taxpayer for tax year 2020, and have a Social Security number valid for employment that is issued before the due date of your 2020 tax return (including extensions).

You must file Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit even if you are normally not required to file a tax return. Anyone with income of $72,000 or less can file their Federal tax return electronically for free through the IRS Free File Program. Free File is a public-private partnership between the IRS and many filing and tax preparation software providers who provide their brand-name products for free. The safest and fastest way to get a tax refund is to combine electronic filing with Direct Deposit.

Form 1040 and 1040-SR Instructions - Recovery Rebate Credit Worksheet
If eligible, you can claim the Recovery Rebate Credit when you file your 2020 tax return (Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR) electronically using tax software or on paper. 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.

Your Recovery Rebate Credit amount will be phased out if your adjusted gross income for 2020 exceeds $150,000 if you are married filing a joint return or filing as a qualifying widow or widower, $112,500 if you are using the head of household filing status, or $75,000 if you are using any other filing status.

I requested a direct deposit of my payment. Why is the IRS mailing it to me?
There are several reasons why your payment may have been sent by mail, including:

  • If the payment was already in process before the bank information was entered, or

  • If the bank rejects the deposit because the bank information is invalid or the bank account has been closed

We will mail your payment to the address we have on file for you. Get My Payment will be updated to reflect the date your payment will be mailed. Typically, it will take up to 14 days to receive the payment, standard mailing time.

Note: It is not possible to change your bank information once your payment has been processed. No action is needed to contact the IRS as phone assistors won’t be able to change your bank information either.

Why can’t I get my payment status?
To use Get My Payment, you must first verify your identity by answering security questions.

If you verified your identity and received “Payment Status Not Available,” this means we cannot determine your eligibility for a payment right now. There are several reasons this could happen. Two common reasons are that you didn’t file either a 2018 or 2019 tax return or your recently filed return has not been fully processed.

If your answers do not match our records multiple times, you’ll be locked out of Get My Payment for 24 hours for security reasons. If you can’t verify your identity, you won’t be able to use Get My Payment. Do not contact the IRS.

If you can’t get your payment status because you’ve been locked out, you must wait 24 hours and try again.

What if I did not file a tax return in 2018 or 2019 because I receive benefits?
If you did not file a return and receive Social Security retirement, disability (SSDI), or survivor benefits, or Railroad Retirement and Survivor Benefits, your information is already on file and no further action is required.

I haven’t filed a federal tax return for 2018 or 2019 because I’m not required to file. I don’t receive social security retirement or any other federal benefits. What do I need to do to get a payment?
You must provide basic information to the IRS to receive your Payment. The IRS urges you to take one of the following actions as soon as you can.

  • You can use the Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here tool to provide simple information to the IRS so you can get your Payment. U.S. citizens and permanent residents can use this tool if they had gross income that did not exceed $12,200 ($24,400 for married couples filing jointly) for 2019 and were not otherwise required to file a federal income tax return for 2019 and didn't plan to do so. This is the quickest way to get your payment.

  • You can file a federal income tax return for 2019 with the IRS even if you receive non-taxable income or do not make enough money to normally have to file a tax return. All taxpayers should file electronically through their tax preparer, tax software provider or IRS Free File if possible.

Have your bank account information available when you use the tool or file so you can get your Payment as quickly as possible. Otherwise, the IRS will mail your Payment to the address you provide.

I did not file a tax return for 2018 or 2019. How do I know if I am required to file a tax return?
Use the IRS Interactive Tax Assistant (ITA) online tool that provides answers to tax questions. The Do I Need to File a Tax Return? tool can help you determine if you're required to file a 2019 federal income tax return.

Answer the questions about your filing status, federal income tax withheld, and basic information to help you determine your gross income to see if you need to file a 2019 tax return. If you had no income or income under a certain amount, you are not required to file a tax return. If you are not required to file a tax return, the Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here tool is the fastest way to get your Payment.

I haven’t filed my 2019 tax return but filed by 2018 return and already received an Economic Impact Payment. Will filing a 2019 return affect my Economic Impact Payment?
No. The IRS used the information from your 2018 tax return to calculate the Payment amount since you haven’t filed your 2019 return yet.

If you did not receive the full amount to which you believe you are entitled, you will be able to claim the additional amount when you file your 2020 tax return.  We encourage everyone to review our “How do I calculate my EIP Payment” question and answer.

Will the IRS contact me about my Payment?
The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information - even related to the economic impact payments. Watch out for websites and social media attempts that request money or personal information and for schemes tied to Economic Impact Payments.

The IRS urges taxpayers to visit – the official IRS website – to protect against scam artists. The IRS has issued a warning about coronavirus-related scams.

For security reasons, a letter about the Payment will be mailed to each recipient’s last known address within 15 days after the Payment is made.

Is the IRS continuing to issue Economic Impact Payments based on 2019 tax returns individuals file in 2020?
Yes, the IRS will continue to process 2019 tax returns and issue payments to individuals who have not already received a payment and have not already been determined to be ineligible based on their 2018 tax returns.

If these individuals are determined to be eligible based on their 2019 tax returns, their payments will be issued shortly thereafter. The status will be reflected in the Get My Payment application.

These individuals will receive information regarding the payments through Notice 1444, Your Economic Impact Payment, within a few weeks after the payments are made.  This notice will be mailed to each recipient’s last known address and should be kept with their records.

When filing their 2020 tax returns in 2021, these individuals can refer to Notice 1444 and claim additional amounts based on the 2020 tax returns if they are eligible.

If the IRS used a taxpayer’s 2018 tax return to determine the individual is not available for a payment, and the taxpayer files a 2019 tax return that changes their eligibility, will the IRS issue a payment in 2020 based on the 2019 tax return?
No. If the IRS has determined that a taxpayer was not eligible for a payment based on the taxpayer’s 2018 tax return, and then the taxpayer files a 2019 tax return that shows eligibility, the IRS will not issue a payment in 2020 based on the 2019 tax return.  These taxpayers can claim amounts based on their 2020 tax returns in 2021 if they remain eligible for 2020.

If the IRS used an individual's 2018 tax return to determine the amount of the individual’s payment, and the individual later files a 2019 tax return that indicates the individual is eligible for a higher amount, will the IRS issue an additional payment for the difference?
No. If an individual hadn’t filed a 2019 tax return or the return had not been processed at the time of the IRS determination, the IRS used the information from the individual’s 2018 tax return to issue the payment.

If an individual received a payment that is less than the full amount to which the individual is entitled, the individual will be able to claim an additional amount based on his or her 2020 tax return when the individual files it in 2021.  The IRS encourages everyone to review the “How do I calculate my EIP” question and answer.

My payment was issued but I lost it, or it was stolen or destroyed. How do I get a new one?
If you received your payment but accidentally threw it away or it was lost, stolen or destroyed, you should request a payment trace to ask for a new one. See How do I request a Payment Trace on my Economic Impact Payment? or What do I do if my prepaid debit card was lost or destroyed?

What if I did not file a tax return in 2018 or 2019 because I did not meet the income threshold or for other reasons?
The IRS has launched a tool which you can find here that allows non-filers to enter their payment and other financial information to receive their stimulus payment.

The form will ask for your Social Security number, name, address, and dependents. The form is only available via the website, which you can find here.

EIP Prepaid Debit Cards
Millions of Americans will receive their stimulus payments in the form of a mailed prepaid debit card -- if you’re still waiting on your payment, be on the lookout for this card in the mail and don’t get rid of it.

These cards will come in a plain envelope from “Money Network Cardholder Services,” NOT the IRS. You will see your name and “Visa” on the front of the Card, and the back of the Card will have the name of the issuing bank -- Metabank. This free card is safe and includes fraud and loss protections, and you can use it just like a normal debit card -- get cash at ATMs, make purchases, or transfer funds to a personal account.

If for some reason you did throw away or destroy your card, you can call Customer Service at 1-800-240-8100 and select the “Lost/Stolen” option to get a replacement for a small fee. Visit for more info and answers to frequently asked questions.