Stimulus check tax credit: How to get your missing stimulus payment on your 2020 refund

There are some important things you need to know about claiming your missing stimulus check money on your taxes.


Sarah Tew/CNET

If you’re still missing a stimulus payment, you’re not alone. Millions of qualified people never got their first or second stimulus checks. It’s possible the IRS made an error, that you’re missing money for your dependents, that your check was mistakenly garnished or that you’re a tax non-filer who needed to take an extra step. Don’t worry: You can claim your full stimulus check amount as a Recovery Rebate Credit when you file your 2020 tax return.

The rebate credit ties your stimulus money to your tax return. That means you won’t get a separate check, but you could get either a larger tax refund or pay a smaller tax bill. If you don’t usually file taxes (for instance, if you’re on SSI or SSDI, or if you’re retired), you’ll need to file this year. We recommend getting your paperwork in order before the IRS starts processing returns on Feb. 12filing your taxes early and signing up for direct deposit

The first step to getting your Recovery Rebate Credit is

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Anker Nebula Solar Portable projector: More white dwarf than supernova

The Anker Nebula Solar Portable is a 1080p projector with a built-in battery and Android TV. It’s a complete package that lets you enjoy movies and TV with a huge image just about anywhere. You can even use it as a Bluetooth speaker. If this sounds vaguely familiar, it’s because it’s similar to another Nebula projector, the Mars II Pro, which we reviewed a few months ago. The Mars II Pro is our favorite portable projector overall and while the Solar has its (ahem) bright spots, it’s just not as good.

Like

  • Sleek, compact design
  • 1080p resolution
  • Built-in battery lasts 3 hours

Don’t Like

  • Fairly dim
  • Mediocre contrast
  • Android TV is wonky

On paper, the Solar Portable addresses two of the issues we had with the Mars II Pro: resolution and its app store. The II Pro is only 720p, and uses a “curated” Google experience called Aptoide. Unfortunately, fixing those two problems comes with decreased light output. No projector this size is particularly bright, but the Solar is about 40% dimmer than the Mars II. Android TV beats Aptoide, but it still has some quirks that mean you might be better off attaching a streaming

Read More View More Anker Nebula Solar Portable projector: More white dwarf than supernova

Stimulus check tax credit: How to get your missing money in your 2020 refund

There are some important things you need to know about claiming your missing stimulus check money on your taxes.


Sarah Tew/CNET

Despite meeting the qualifications, millions of people never received their first and second stimulus checks. For some folks, only part of the payment showed up by direct deposit, check or EIP card. If any of these happened to you, it’s possible the IRS made an error or that you’re missing money for your dependents. It’s also possible that your check was mistakenly garnished or you needed to take an extra step because you’re a tax nonfiler. But don’t worry: You can still claim the full amount you’re entitled to receive when you file your 2020 tax return. Just use the IRS Recovery Rebate Credit. 

Using the credit won’t get you a rebate check. But it will either increase your tax refund or cut your tax bill. If you don’t usually file taxes (for instance, if you’re on SSI or SSDI, or you’re retired), you’ll still to file a 2020 return to claim your missing stimulus payment. (We’ve got instructions on how to claim missing stimulus money for nonfilers here).

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An IRS payment trace could find your missing stimulus money. Here’s how to get one

We’ll tell you the right time to request a Payment Trace from the IRS for your no-show stimulus check.


Sarah Tew/CNET

Never received your second stimulus check? Nearly two weeks have passed since the IRS and US Treasury stopped sending out the second payment of up to $600 per person, but millions of people are experiencing delays or other issues preventing their check from arriving. To find out where your money is, you should first check the IRS’ payment status tool. Depending on what it tells you, you may need to take another step to track down your cash. 

For most people, that means you’ll need to claim your missing money on your 2020 tax return, as a Recovery Rebate Credit (here’s how to file that claim, even if you don’t usually file taxes). But in certain cases, you’ll need to contact the IRS and request something called a Payment Trace to find your missing funds. (You can use our stimulus calculator to estimate the amount of money you should have received in your check.) 

Here’s everything you need to know about what an IRS Payment Trace is, the two cases when you may need

Read More View More An IRS payment trace could find your missing stimulus money. Here’s how to get one

Apple edges out Samsung as top smartphone vendor

Thanks to iPhone 12 sales, Apple won the fourth quarter with the highest number of shipments among global smartphone vendors, says Canalys.

Image: Apple

Apple ended 2020 with a big boost in smartphone shipments courtesy of the iPhone 12.

Based on a report released Thursday by research firm Canalys, Apple shipped its most ever smartphones in a single quarter with 81.8 million units, a gain of 4% from 2019’s fourth quarter. At the same time, the company’s smartphone market share rose to 23% from 21%, pushing it into first place in the worldwide smartphone arena.

Though Apple no longer parses out actual unit sales for its products, iPhone revenues last quarter jumped to $65.6 billion versus $55.6 billion in the prior year’s quarter.

SEE: iPhone 12: A cheat sheet (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Calling the iPhone 12 a hit, Canalys analyst Vincent Thielke said that Apple is better positioned on 5G than its rivals as it’s heavily slanted toward developed markets and sales through mobile carriers.

“But it also made savvy moves behind the scenes to propel its sales and profitability,” Thielke added. “The omission of a power plug from the iPhone retail box, which reduces weight and size, is

Read More View More Apple edges out Samsung as top smartphone vendor

Missing a stimulus check? You might need an IRS payment trace. Here’s how to request it

We’ll tell you the right time to request a Payment Trace from the IRS for your no-show stimulus check.


Sarah Tew/CNET

Still waiting on your second stimulus check? It’s been almost two weeks since the IRS and US Treasury stopped sending out the second payment of up to $600 per person, but millions of people are experiencing delays or other issues preventing their check from arriving. To find out where your money is, you should first check the IRS’ payment status tool. Depending on what it tells you, you may need to take another step to track down your cash. 

For most people, that’s going to mean claiming your missing money on your 2020 tax return, as a Recovery Rebate Credit (here’s how to file that claim, even if you don’t usually file taxes). But in certain cases, you’ll need to contact the IRS and request something called a Payment Trace to find your missing funds. (You can use our stimulus calculator to estimate the amount of money you should have received in your check.) 

Here’s everything you need to know about what an IRS Payment Trace is, the two cases when you may need

Read More View More Missing a stimulus check? You might need an IRS payment trace. Here’s how to request it