The 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit

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To help offset the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. government delivered three separate Economic Impact Payments (also called stimulus checks) to millions of Americans in 2020 and 2021. The first two checks were reported on 2020 tax returns (taxes filed in 2021). The third stimulus check will affect tax returns filed in 2022.  

The Recovery Rebate Credit (RRC) is a refundable federal tax credit that is available to filers who were eligible for the third stimulus but did not receive the correct amount they were due. Here’s what you need to know about it. 

Who can claim the Recovery Rebate Credit in 2021? 

If you were eligible for the third stimulus payment but you did not receive it, or your payment was not for the correct amount, you can claim the Recovery Rebate Credit on your 2021 tax return (to be filed in 2022).  

Individuals who have experienced a change such as having a child or losing income since the stimulus payments were issued may also qualify for the credit.  

Who received the third stimulus check?   

The IRS looked at household AGI to determine who was eligible for the third stimulus. Taxpayers making less than the minimum threshold received the full stimulus. Those earning more saw a reduced amount. The table below shows the income thresholds for stimulus round three. 

Filing status  Eligible for full amount (AGI) Stimulus phases out completely (AGI) 
Single   Less than $75,000  $80,000 or more  
Head of household  Less than $112,500  $120,000 or more  
Married filing jointly  Less than $150,000  $160,000 or more 

Read more about the eligibility requirements for the third stimulus check.

How much is the Recovery Rebate Credit for 2021? 

The 2021 Recovery Rebate tax credit is worth up to $1,400 (or $2,800 if married filing jointly) plus $1,400 for each qualifying dependent.  

  • If you did not receive a third stimulus check but you were eligible for one, your tax credit will be equal to the amount you were due. 
  • If your payment was not correct (too low), you’ll get a tax credit for the difference. 

How do I find my third stimulus payment amount?   

You should have received a Notice 1444-C from the IRS around the time you got your stimulus payment. You’ll find the amount you got for your third stimulus on the notice. If you don’t have your Notice 1444-C, you may be able to find the amount deposited in your bank account history.   

How do I claim the Recovery Rebate Credit on my 2021 tax return?  

TaxSlayer will automatically determine if you’re eligible for the Recovery Rebate Credit and calculate the amount you’ll receive. We’ll provide more information about how this works in the software during tax season.