We get it --isn't a walk in the park, and this year doesn't make it any easier with all the . However, this year could cause you to lose out on some important benefits to filing your before the April 15 deadline. You could receive your sooner, for example.
Filing your taxes early could also help you finallyyou qualified for, whether it's due to , issues with , overlooked or funds that were . We'll also help you understand how your taxes play a huge role in the with the -- which is currently at -- and .
These tips apply to people who are, too, and carry extra weight based on what could . Additionally, here's more information about all the and when it's time to or set up a if your stimulus payment doesn't show up. This story was recently updated.
4 reasons to get your taxes filed early this year
Before we explain how you could benefit by filing taxes early, for some,might be the better way to go.
Benefit 1: The earlier you file your taxes, the(you can ). That's a great reason to file early every year.
Benefit 2: Since any missing stimulus check money is alsothis time around, filing early will mean you get any missing stimulus money faster, too. If you're owed a tax refund and stimulus money, both will arrive as part of the same payment. For example, let's say your tax refund was $500 and your stimulus check allotment was $500. You'd receive a $1,000 payment from the US Treasury.
(If you're on the hook for taxes but you're owed stimulus check money, the amount you have to fork over will be reduced. So, if you were to owe $1,000 in taxes and you're missing $500 in stimulus check money, you'd only owe $500 instead of $1,000.)
Benefit 3: The chance toor fix any errors. People with direct deposit accounts on file with the IRS have typically than those getting money in the mail. We suspect the same will be true with the of (read about why the ).
Benefit 4: You'll stand a better chance of getting your full payment if, as seems likely, there's a new stimulus check approved in 2021. According to the latest proposal -- which is not law -- the IRS would base your on your 2019 or 2020 taxes, whichever it has most recently on record. Any money you don't get as part of the automatic payment .
Let's say you made less money in 2020 than in 2019, or you had a new baby in the last year. If thebased on your 2019 life circumstances, you'd miss out on the rest of the check for a year or more, by the time it's processed.
The day you file affects when you'll get your tax refund and missing stimulus check money
Though you can still technically file your taxes by mail and request a paper check, the fastest way to get the money you're owed is to file electronically and have funds. This year, the IRS didn't begin processing tax returns , making that the soonest you could have submitted your return (April 15 is the last day to file). The IRS says 90% of filers will receive their refunds in 21 days or sooner.
The IRS says itswithin 24 hours of filing, which could include a confirmation that your refund has been issued. From there, it could take anywhere from one to three days for the money to appear in your bank account.
When to expect your tax refund
|If you file on this date||This is the soonest||This is the latest|
|Feb. 12||Feb. 19||March 5|
|March 1||March 8||March 22|
|April 1||April 8||April 22|
|April 15 (last day to file)||April 22||May 6|
|Oct. 15 (last day with extension)||Oct. 22||Nov. 5|
Assuming seven days is the soonest you'd get your combined tax refund-stimulus payment and 21 days is the longest, we've sketched out what a difference filing sooner rather than later could make. (There's more below on how to calculate how much money you might get in addition to your .)
Does the IRS owe you any money from a previous stimulus check? How to find out
To figure out whether and how much money you're owed from a previous round of stimulus checks, you first have to determine how much you were owed for each previous payment, then subtract from that any amount you already received.
Here's how to calculate the payments you were owed:
- For the first check,
- For the second check,
- To predict a possible third check,
Next, you'll want to check your bank account where your payments were deposited to determine the amount you received. (If you received an balance and transaction history here.) within 15 days of issuing your stimulus check, however it was issued, and that letter should show how much money you received. (Here's what to do .), you can check the
If you no longer have that letter, you canto help figure out when you received the payment. It'll also show you the last four digits of the bank account it was deposited in if it was deposited directly.
There's also a form to help you figure out the amount you're owed on page 59 of this PDF detailing instructions for 1040 and 1040-SR tax forms, but it's a doozy to follow.
Why the IRS could owe you a payment, in the first place
There are many reasons why the IRS might still owe you stimulus check money, including:
- You missed the
- Money was
- There was an error with your
- You claim a
To claim your missing stimulus payment on your taxes, this is what you'll do
The IRS requires you to fill out either form 1040 or 1040-SR if you're going to claim a on your 2020 taxes. Once you have the amount you're owed worked out, you'll enter it on line 30 of either of those forms. Yes, it's that simple.
Ways your missing stimulus check payment could arrive
If you're due a refund from the IRS, it'll include both your full refund amount and whatever you're owed from the. In other words, it'll be bigger. If, however, you owe the IRS money, your Recovery Rebate Credit will be applied to the debt. If the tax credit is more than you owe, you'll receive the difference as a refund.
Here's, i.e. you won't be filing taxes for 2020, and you're still owed a stimulus check. If you have child dependents, could help put more money in your pocket. And here's .