Eligible individuals can claim the Recovery Rebate Credit on their 2020 Form 1040 or 1040-SR. These forms can also be used by people who are not normally required to file tax returns but are eligible for the credit.
The Recovery Rebate Credit is authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Any eligible individual who did not receive the full amount of the recovery rebate as an advance payment, also known as an Economic Impact Payment, can claim the Recovery Rebate Credit on a 2020 Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR.
Generally, this credit will increase the amount of your tax refund or lower the amount of the tax you owe.
You do not need to complete any information about the Recovery Rebate Credit on your 2020 Form 1040 or 1040-SR if your Economic Impact Payment in 2020 was $1,200 ($2,400 if married filing jointly for 2020) plus $500 for each qualifying child you had in 2020. You received all your recovery rebate in 2020.
CARES Act and the Economic Impact Payment
Under the CARES Act, millions of Americans have received Economic Impact Payments. The IRS will continue to make these payments through December 31, 2020.
How do I find the payment amount I received in 2020?
Refer to your Notice 1444 for the payment amount you were issued, before any offsets, in 2020. You'll need to this information to determine the amount to include on the worksheet that will be included in the 2020 Instructions for Form 1040 and 1040-SR and when completing the Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR.
Who Qualifies for the Recovery Rebate Credit?
The Recovery Rebate Credit is figured like the 2020 Economic Impact Payment, except that the credit eligibility and the credit amount are based on the tax year 2020 information shown on the 2020 tax returns filed in 2021.
Generally, you are eligible to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit, if you were a U.S. citizen or U.S. resident alien in 2020, are not 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 can take the Recovery Rebate Credit for any recovery rebate amount that is more than the Economic Impact Payment you received in 2020 by completing line 30 of your 2020 Form 1040 or 1040-SR.
You do not need to complete information about the Recovery Rebate Credit on your 2020 Form 1040 or 1040-SR if either of the following apply:
You received $1,200 plus $500 for each qualifying child you had in 2020, or
You're filing a joint return for 2020 and, together, you and your spouse received $2,400 plus $500 for each qualifying child you had in 2020.
You may be able to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit if:
You are eligible but were not issued an Economic Impact Payment, or
Your Economic Impact Payment was less than $1,200 ($2,400 if married filing a joint return) plus $500 for each qualifying child you had in 2020.
Taxpayers residing in American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands
In general, the tax authorities in these five U.S. territories will provide the Recovery Rebate Credit to eligible residents. Territory residents should direct questions about Economic Impact Payments received in 2020 or the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit to the tax authorities in the territories where they reside.
Form 1040 and 1040-SR Instructions - Recovery Rebate Credit Worksheet
If eligible, you can claim the Recovery Rebate Credit on 2020 Form 1040 or 1040-SR. The 2020 Instructions for Form 1040 and Form 1040-SR will include a worksheet you can use to figure the amount of any credit for which you are eligible.
As was the case with the advance payment of the credit called the Economic Impact Payment, your recovery rebate is up to $2,400 if you file a joint tax return or up to $1,200 for all other eligible individuals. Those with qualifying children will receive up to an additional $500 per qualifying child. Your recovery rebate amount will be phased out if your adjusted gross income for 2020 exceeds $150,000 if you are married filing a joint return, $112,500 if you are using the head of household filing status, or $75,000 if you are using any other filing status.
Because the Economic Impact Payment you received in 2020 was an advance of the recovery rebate, the worksheet provides you a Recovery Rebate Credit to the extent your recovery rebate amount is more than your Economic Impact Payment.
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