What the Second Stimulus Payment Means For You

Non-Filer or Social Security Income Recipient

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Generally, social security income (SSI) recipients or individuals with little or no income do not have to file a tax return. As a result of the 2020 COVID-19 Crisis, many individuals were asked to file non-filer or stimulus tax returns in order to receive Stimulus or Economic Impact Payments (EIP) during 2020. Learn about the difference in 2021 for 2020 Returns.

During 2020: This created a misconception that a Non-Filer, Stimulus, or Simple Tax Return was required by every taxpayer to receive a Stimulus Check. That was not so, as a regular 2019 Tax Return and/or 2018 return on file with the IRS was sufficient to receive the Economic Impact Payment. However, many taxpayers filed non-filer returns prior to filing regular tax returns.

During 2021: 2020 Tax Returns are due in 2021. On the 2020 1040 tax form, the IRS added a line item - line 30 - called Recovery Rebate Credit. If you did not receive your 1. Stimulus Payment or EIP during 2020, you can claim this through the Recovery Rebate Credit. In addition, if you did not receive the 2. Stimulus Payment during 2021, this is also claimed through the Recovery Rebate Credit on your 2020 Tax Return. Note: if you did not receive a portion of either payment, you can also claim this. For example, if you were supposed to receive an additional $500 or $600 for a qualifying dependent, indicate this on your return.

This is all done through the eFile Tax App. You can answer a few questions about the payments and the app will report it and add your credits owed to your tax refund. Since the Recovery Rebate Credit is a refundable tax credit, you will receive the full amount owed, even if you are already receiving a refund.

  • Non-Filer, Zero Income: If you have zero or no income and are not normally required to file a tax return, you can just file a 2020 Tax Return to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit and be done. Instructions on how to file a zero income 2020 Tax Return to claim stimulus payments.
  • Social Security, Disability, Veterans' benefits, etc. Income: Generally, if you only have this type of income, you do not have to file a tax return. See details on Social Security Income and Tax Returns. However, if you want to claim your first and/or second stimulus payment, you have to decide between a non-filer return, zero income return, or whether to also list the income type listed here. If you have other taxable income, you would have to list that.

Confused? Discuss your situation with a Taxpert first for free. Only at eFile.com will you have a free personal tax support page, not on TurboTax® or H&R Block®.

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