Some people may have to pay economic stimulus payments in 2021 this year, according to the Internal Revenue Service.

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Could you qualify for a federal economic stimulus payment of up to $ 1,400 per person in the coming months?

May be. Look for a letter from the Internal Revenue Service this month – technically, letter 6475 – to help you figure this out.

The letter applies to stimulus payments that were created in March 2021 and were paid until the end of last month.

Eligible adults and children could get up to $ 1,400 each from the plan, which Congress passed as people battled the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy. If you qualify for more stimulus money, it can be claimed on the income tax return you file this year.

Families with a married couple’s adjusted gross income of jointly filing less than $ 150,000 were eligible for the full amount.

Singles may qualify with incomes below $ 75,000 and the threshold for those reporting as head of household was $ 112,500.

The benefit has been phased out for higher incomes. Joint filers could not get payments if their income exceeded $ 160,000. The limit for heads of household was $ 120,000 and for single tax filers $ 80,000.

According to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, a Washington-based research group, about 80% of California adults were eligible for the credit, which is estimated to average $ 2,350 per state filer and their families.

Get a new payment

Most people have already received their payments, which were based on income reported on their 2019 or 2020 tax return.

But several factors could mean additional payments this year for what’s called the recovery rebate credit. Among the developments: if your income fell last year, for example, and fell below eligibility levels or if your family added a child in 2021.

If you need to make a payment, you’ll need to file a 2021 tax return this year, although you usually don’t.

If tax is due, the credit will be applied to that amount. If you are entitled to a refund, this amount will reflect the credit.

The biggest concern for many tax preparers is that filers may not be ready.

Taxpayers who received payments last year received a letter, numbered 1444-C. It was sent from the White House and signed by President Joe Biden.

Claudia Stanley, a chartered accountant in Fresno, said people “need to know exactly how many IRS they were issued in the third round. What we learned from last year is that people who did not keep their letter with the amount issued by the IRS in the first and second rounds may have a vague memory of what was or has not been paid.

Rounds one and two were the first stimulus payments, issued in 2020.

Some taxpayers experienced IRS delays last year if they filed returns containing incorrect information about their stimulus payments.

So be prepared, Stanley advised. Last year, “sometimes there was a mismatch in the amounts because their stimulus payment had bounced back, was lost in the mail, or the taxpayer thought the debit card (stimulus) was another offer from. unwanted credit card that has been rejected. We have spent a considerable amount of time resolving these issues for our customers.

Stimulus questions, answers

Q. What steps do I need to take to claim the 2021 stimulus if I am eligible?

A. File a 2021 tax return even though you typically don’t file a tax return.

Q. Do I have to pay taxes on the stimulus payment?

A. No.

Q. Will the stimulus payment affect my eligibility for other federal benefit programs?

A. No.

Q. In fact, I earned enough in 2021 not to qualify for the payment, but I still received one because it was based on my 2020 income. Do I have to pay back any money?

A. No.

Q. What should I look for in the IRS letter on the stimulus payment?

A. Stanley said, “This letter will confirm the amounts previously reported on letter 1444-C. If they don’t have the first or second letter, their next step should be to visit the IRS website and click “Obtain Your Economic Impact Payment Status.” Scroll down to the link under “Amount and status of your third payment”. Here, they can create an “account” with the IRS to view activity posted under their Social Security number. “

She noted that creating the account might require patience with security measures.

Stanley said that if you are in a married couple, each person must create an account.

“I hope with optimism that taking these extra steps to get it right on the tax return will avoid the myriad of confusing letters and phone calls that so many people experience in 2021,” she said.

David Lightman is McClatchy’s chief congressional correspondent. He has been writing, editing and teaching for nearly 50 years, with stops in Hagerstown, Riverside, California, Annapolis, Baltimore and since 1981, Washington.