Stimulus Update: Not Sure if You Got All the Stimulus Money You're Owed? Here's How to Check

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  • While most Americans received the stimulus money they were owed in 2021, not everyone did.
  • Some Americans are also missing the monthly Child Tax Credit payments they qualified for -- and millions more are owed the second half of the tax credit money.
  • You can still claim what you're owed as a rebate or credit on your 2021 taxes, and there's an easy way to find out what you're owed.

Not sure whether you should be on the receiving end of more stimulus money when you file your taxes? Here's an easy way to check.

While millions of Americans are hopeful that the federal government will eventually issue more stimulus money to households across the nation, right now, there are few signs that it will happen -- at least not in the near future. As of early February, lawmakers had yet to move forward on any enhanced Child Tax Credit extension -- and while stimulus petitions have continued to rack up the signatures, there has been virtually no movement on that front, either.

The current lack of stimulus or tax credit money is likely a big hit to millions of low- to moderate-income households. After all, many of these households came to rely on the monthly Child Tax Credit payments that landed in their mailboxes or bank accounts during the second half of 2021. According to numerous studies, this money helped families buy groceries, pay for childcare, and purchase school supplies and other essentials.

But while hundreds of millions of households benefited from the stimulus and tax credit money issued in 2021, not everyone who qualified received the money they were owed. Luckily, the money from both of these stimulus programs can be claimed when you file your taxes this year, so if you're still owed money from the federal government, you still have time to claim it. And, there's also an easy way to check whether you got all of the stimulus money you're owed. Here's how you can do that.

How to check if you're still owed stimulus money

The IRS issued the third stimulus payment -- which was worth a maximum of $1,400 per qualifying adult and dependent -- to more than 160 million people in early 2021. And, while most people received the full stimulus payment they qualified for, not everyone did.

If you think you're still owed the money from the third stimulus payment, the good news is that you can still take steps to receive the money. You'll just need to claim it as a Recovery Rebate Credit when you file your 2021 taxes this year. After your tax return is processed, the missing stimulus money will be issued along with the money sent to you as part of your refund.

But before you claim the third stimulus payment on your taxes, you may want to check to see if you're entitled to the money. Doing so is simple: All you have to do is check to see if you've received Letter 6475 from the IRS.

These letters, which have already been issued by the IRS, were sent out to help you determine whether you can claim the money for the third stimulus on your taxes. In addition to helping you determine whether you can qualify for the Recovery Rebate Credit, this letter also includes instructions on how to claim the money on your taxes.

You will need that information to ensure that your tax filings are free of errors -- which will help to expedite your tax refund and your missing stimulus payment. So, if you qualified but did not receive your third stimulus payment -- or if you received some but not all of the stimulus money you qualified for -- you should be sure to keep this letter on hand to otherwise avoid missing out on funds or facing long processing delays due to incorrect filing information.

How to check if you're owed more Child Tax Credit money

The third stimulus check may not be the only stimulus money you can claim when you file your taxes. There are millions of parents who are eligible to claim the second half of the Child Tax Credit -- and as with the stimulus money, there's an easy way to check to see what you're owed.

If you want to find out what you can claim for the Child Tax Credit, you'll want to refer to Letter 6419, which is also originating from the IRS. This letter outlines pertinent information about the tax credit payments you received during the second half of 2021 -- if any. This includes the total payment amount you have received thus far and the number of dependents the IRS included in your payments.

This information will help you to determine what you can claim for the Child Tax Credit as part of your tax return. It will also come in handy when filing your taxes, as you will need the information included in that letter to reduce the chance of errors on your return. Any incorrect information included in your tax paperwork will likely result in delays or other issues during processing, so be sure to compare the information in Letter 6419 to the information you include in your tax filings.

While additional assistance from the federal government looks less and less likely by the day, making sure you claim any remaining owed funds on your 2021 tax return could still provide a welcome boost for your family this spring.

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