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.


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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 up direct deposit when you do, and everything a new stimulus bill could contain, including a new stimulus check for more than double the second payment. This story updated recently.

What are IRS Notices 1444 and 1444-B — and why do you need them to claim your missing money?

Within 15 days after the IRS issued your first and second payments — if you qualified for stimulus money — the agency would have mailed a notice to your last known address with your information on the payment. For the first payment, the IRS would have sent you Notice 1444 and for the second, Notice 1444-B. 

The IRS said you’ll use the information from these notices to claim money you were eligible to receive, but didn’t, when you file for taxes this year. Here’s more information on using the Recovery Rebate Credit Worksheet to figure out the credit you can claim on your taxes. You’ll essentially enter the total amount you determine you’re owed on line 30 of the 2020 1040 or 1040-SR tax forms.

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Where can I find the information that was in my IRS notice if I don’t have the letter?

If you don’t have the IRS confirmation notice, you can find the information on your federal tax account, using the IRS website. 

If you don’t have an account set up with the IRS, head to the IRS account page and tap the blue button that says Create or view your account to get started.

You’ll need to have some information on hand to set up your account, including tax and financial information, plus an email address and a mobile phone number to receive activation codes.

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The IRS has sent out two rounds of stimulus payments.


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What do I do if I can’t complete the IRS registration?

The online registration process can take about 15 minutes. During the setup process, the IRS will first email and then text two activation codes. If the codes don’t come through, the agency will mail you a letter with an activation code, which can take 5 to 10 days to get to you. If you want to track the letter, you can use this free service from the USPS.

Once you’ve set up your online account with the IRS, you can check your account for the information contained in the notice. If your stimulus payment information is not available when you check, the IRS said it should be in the coming weeks.

For more information on tax season and your stimulus check, here’s what you need to know about tax deadlines, why you want to file early and how to estimate the size of your second check. (You can also estimate the size of your next stimulus check.)



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