While millions of Americans have received stimulus checks, some are finding that they’re receiving less than what they were expecting.
The federal government’s stimulus plan provides $1,200 for individual taxpayers plus $500 for each child under the age of 17.
Yet, in many cases, parents received less money than they expected—with the extra $500 for dependents missing.
It’s difficult to get answers because the Internal Revenue Service isn’t taking phone calls or emails about problems with the stimulus program. However, it has been updating the “frequently asked questions” section on its website.
What should you do if you didn’t get the money you were expecting?
According to an IRS FAQ page update from this week, you’ll need to claim the additional money when you file your 2020 tax return.
From the IRS website:
If you did not receive the full amount to which you believe you are entitled, you will be able to claim the additional amount when you file your 2020 tax return. This is particularly important for individuals who may be entitled to the additional $500 per qualifying child dependent payments. For VA and SSI recipients who don’t have a filing requirement and have a child, they need to use the Non-Filers tool on IRS.gov by May 5 in order to have the $500 added automatically to their $1,200 Economic Impact payment.
Another question on the website involves receiving a $500 payment for a child who just turned 17. The IRS said those recipients will not have to pay the money back next year:
No, there is no provision in the law requiring repayment of a Payment. When you file next year, you can claim additional credits on your 2020 tax return if you are eligible for them, for example if your child is born in 2020. But, you won’t be required to repay any Payment when filing your 2020 tax return even if your qualifying child turns 17 in 2020 or your adjusted gross income increases in 2020 above the thresholds listed above.
Another common question: What if the bank account number I used on my recent tax return is closed or no longer active? Can I switch and be mailed a payment?
If the account is closed or no longer active, the bank will reject the deposit and you will be issued a check that will be mailed to the address we have on file for you. This is generally the address on your most recent tax return or as updated through the United States Postal Service (USPS). You do not need to call the IRS to change your Payment method or update your address at this time.
As required by law and for security reasons, a letter about the Payment will be mailed to each recipient’s last known address within 15 days after the Payment is made. The letter will provide information on how the Payment was made and how to report any failure to receive the Payment.
You can find more answers to stimulus questions on the IRS website.