Do you need to claim stimulus check money? Why you need this letter from the IRS first

You may not be able to claim your missing payment during tax season without these details.


Sarah Tew/CNET

Still missing stimulus money, from either the first or second round of payments? Don’t worry — the IRS has a plan in place. You can claim the amount you’re eligible for (up to $1,200 per person for the first check or up to $600 per person for the second) when you file your federal taxes this year, as a Recovery Rebate Credit

To claim your missing money, you’ll need information from a letter the IRS mailed to you a few weeks after it issued your stimulus check money (use our calculator to find out how much you should have received in a first or second check). But what happens if you never received that letter, or if you lost it or threw it away? 

We’ve got everything you need to know about how to get a copy of the IRS information needed to claim any missing stimulus money on your taxes. Also, here’s more information on how you’ll file for the stimulus credit, why you might want to file your taxes early and set

Read More View More Do you need to claim stimulus check money? Why you need this letter from the IRS first

Never mind your tax refund. Stimulus checks are why you should file early this year

The faster you file your taxes, the sooner you’ll see that stimulus green.


Sarah Tew/CNET

Of course, you’ll likely get your federal tax refund sooner if you file sooner to the time the IRS starts processing returns on Feb. 12 than to the April 15 deadline. But this year, you have two additional reasons to start preparations ahead of time for tax season 2020By setting up direct deposit with the IRS, you’ll mostly likely receive your third stimulus check sooner, especially a new stimulus payment arrives during tax season. By filing as early as you can, you’ll also be able to recover any unpaid stimulus check money you’ve been owed since the Jan. 15 IRS deadline.

At least 8 million people who should’ve been eligible for stimulus check money didn’t receive the check they were due — and millions more may not have gotten all the funds they were entitled to — because of a clerical error or some other issue. Some folks had problems with custody and child support, missing money for child dependents in general, or accidental garnishment.

Whatever your individual situation, we’ll explain how filing early can help you

Read More View More Never mind your tax refund. Stimulus checks are why you should file early this year

8 million nonfilers may have to file taxes this year if they want their stimulus check

Even if you don’t usually have to file a federal tax return, you’ll need to this year if you’re trying to claim missing stimulus money.


Angela Lang/CNET

The IRS relies heavily on tax return information to determine who qualifies to receive a stimulus check and for how much. That makes it tricky if you’re one of the millions of nonfilers in the US; people who aren’t required to file an annual income tax return. In fact, the White House estimates that at least 8 million people didn’t get a stimulus check

To drive home the point, President Joe Biden on Friday signed an executive order asking the Treasury to consider making it easier for this group of “nonfilers” to receive their second payments of up to $600 per person. It is not clear what the Treasury will do, For now, the easiest way for nonfilers to claim their money is to actually file 2020 taxes this year, using the IRS’ Recovery Rebate Credit.

We’ll walk you through everything you need to know, including why your second stimulus check may be missing (a direct deposit mistake, change of home addresschild dependent not counted,

Read More View More 8 million nonfilers may have to file taxes this year if they want their stimulus check

How to watch SpaceX launch 100-plus satellites on a Falcon 9 rocket today

SpaceX shared this scenic view of a Falcon 9 awaiting launch.


SpaceX

SpaceX will transform one of its Falcon 9 rockets into the space equivalent of a crowded Uber when it launches its Transporter-1 ride-share mission from Cape Canaveral in Florida as soon as Sunday. The payload for this mission includes a cornucopia of small satellites from government and commercial entities, along with 10 of SpaceX’s own Starlink broadband satellites.

We learned Thursday that the cargo will include 48 SuperDove satellites for Planet Labs, bringing the total to a record-breaking 133 satellites in a single launch.

SpaceX has confirmed the total number of satellites in the ride-share payload. There was some last-minute shifting around after two DARPA satellites were accidentally damaged earlier this month at a processing facility. The Starlink satellites were also a last-minute addition. The payload includes several small spacecraft from Nanoracks and more from the German Aerospace Center (DLR)

Read More View More How to watch SpaceX launch 100-plus satellites on a Falcon 9 rocket today

Next stimulus check calculator: See if you’d get the full $1,400, less or more

A $1,400 or $2,000 stimulus check per qualified adult could add up fast for households. Here’s how to calculate how much money you’d get.


Sarah Tew/CNET

Sending out a third stimulus check as soon as possible is at high on President Joe Biden’s agenda. More stimulus payments of up to $1,400 per qualified adult are a major part of his $1.9 trillion stimulus proposal. While more than twice the size of the second stimulus check, which maxes out at $600 per person (and adds another $600 per child dependent), Biden’s plan for a next stimulus payment also snips hundreds of dollars off the promised $2,000 check that had been gaining momentum since mid-December.

Biden and his administration are framing the $1,400 threshold as a continuation of that earlier $600 second payment, which would bring the combined upper limit to $2,000 per person when you add up both checks. 

But that could come with its own complications, too, including how a final stimulus bill would deal with dependents — would they all count for more money per head in the third round, or only those who were previously disqualified? Who else would qualify for stimulus

Read More View More Next stimulus check calculator: See if you’d get the full $1,400, less or more

Recovery Rebate Credit: How to claim missing stimulus money on your 2020 tax return

If the IRS ends up owing you money from the first or second stimulus check, you can still claim it this year.


Sarah Tew/CNET

If you still haven’t received your second stimulus check, your next option is to claim the stimulus money you’re owed from the second and first economic impact payments next month when you file your 2020 tax return.

While you wait, you can start gathering all your tax paperwork needed. But before you do, you should first confirm your payment status online through the IRS. If the free service says your payment made the deadline and is in transit to your mailbox, you can then track it through the USPS. If you can’t figure out the confusing messages the IRS tool is telling you, if it appears there’s been an error of some sort, or if you seem to be missing money for your dependents, it may be time to turn to the IRS’ Recovery Rebate Credit on your upcoming taxes.

You won’t be sent a separate check if you claim your money on your taxes. It would, however, either increase the size of your total tax refund or lower

Read More View More Recovery Rebate Credit: How to claim missing stimulus money on your 2020 tax return