In case you somehow missed the good news, at the end of 2020, lawmakers approved a $900 billion coronavirus relief deal that includes a second round of direct stimulus checks worth $600 each. So far, many people have already seen that money hit their bank accounts, but if the IRS doesn’t have direct deposit details for you on file, you’ll need to wait for a check or debit card in the mail.
That said, it was recently announced that the IRS only has until Jan. 15 to distribute payments, so if yours doesn’t go out by that deadline, you’ll need to claim it as a credit on your upcoming tax return. Specifically, you’ll claim something called the Recovery Rebate Credit on your 2020 return, which is the return that’s due this coming April.
Now on the one hand, waiting a little bit longer to get your stimulus cash may not seem like such a terrible thing. After all, the IRS generally begins accepting tax returns in late January, and if you file yours electronically, you may get a refund within 21 days, which has been the standard turnaround in previous tax years. That said, even if you never received the $600 stimulus you were entitled to, you may still not get a check for that money when you file your upcoming return.