What is the Recovery Rebate Credit?

Expatfile tax questions illustration
Expatfile tax questions illustration

The Recovery Rebate Credit acts as a one-time refundable tax credit for those who have not received their Economic Impact Payment(s), often referred to as stimulus checks. These checks were issued in response to the economic challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This credit was introduced to help US taxpayers still collect their missing stimulus checks they were eligible for. Therefore, the IRS has introduced the Recovery Rebate Credit on Form 1040 for the tax years 2020 and 2021.

By filing your 2020 tax return, you can still claim the amount of the first stimulus check as a tax credit. Similarly, filing your 2021 tax returns allows you to still claim both the second and third stimulus checks.

Important note

If you still miss your stimulus checks, you can still reclaim them by filing a tax return. However, you should keep in mind that there is an expiration date to claim them.

First stimulus check can be claimed by filing a 2020 tax return, but no later than May 17, 2024. Second and third stimulus checks can be claimed by filing a 2021 tax return, but no later than April 15, 2025.

Expatfile includes support for reclaiming all three missed stimulus checks. Just select tax year 2020 or 2021 to find the Recovery Rebate Credit in the Credits & Payments section. If you still need to claim them, just get started now.

For more details about the Recovery Rebate Credit, just visit our dedicated section on the resources page.

Updated Jan 8, 2024

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