Stimulus Check: You’ll Need This IRS Notice to Get More Money

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The IRS started mailing Letter 6475 in January.

Angela Lang/CNET For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO and CDC websites.

Most Americans received their full Economic Impact Payment — or third stimulus check — in 2021, but it’s possible you could have more money coming. If you had a baby last year or added a qualifying child to your family, you’re eligible for another $1,400. If your income changed significantly in 2021, you could also be owed more money.

The IRS finished mailing the third checks in January, but those entitled to more money can claim what’s called the recovery rebate credit on their 2021 tax returns when they file this tax season. The catch is that you’ll need a specific IRS notice to do that.

Letter 6475, Your Third Economic Impact Payment, was mailed to recipients of the third stimulus check starting in late January. It’s considered the official record of your stimulus payments for all of 2021. The letter helps determine if you’re owed more money via the recovery rebate credit. Even if you don’t qualify for more money, you still need the letter to report stimulus money on your tax return.

Here’s how to make sure you get all the stimulus money you are eligible for. Also, learn how parents can claim the expanded child tax credit money and when to file your taxes this year.

Why is the IRS sending me Letter 6475?

“The Economic Impact Payment letters include important information that can help people quickly and accurately file their tax return,” the IRS said in a January release, including personal information — like your name and address — and the total amount sent in your third stimulus payment.

This could include “plus-up” payments, the additional funds the IRS sent to people who were eligible for a larger amount based on their 2019 or 2020 tax returns, or information received from the Social Security Administration, Department of Veterans’ Affairs or the Railroad Retirement Board.

You may have already received a Letter 1444-C, which showed the amount you were paid and how it was delivered, but that’s not what you want to use to prepare your 2021 return.

Do I really need to hold on to the letter?

You should always save tax return-related documents, says Mark Steber, chief tax information officer at Jackson Hewitt: W-2s, interest statements and IRS letters are a good record of your account “in case anything comes along in the next two or three years,” he says.

“It’s always important, but especially important if you’re due more money — particularly if you had a new baby, adopted a child, fostered a child, it’s your year for split shared custody or any number of additional life changes,” Steber told CNET. “All of these situations would lend themselves to an additional payment.” 

What do I do with Letter 6475?

Hold onto it until you or your tax preparer are ready to file your 2021 federal return, then use the amount shown on your Recovery Rebate Worksheet to determine if any credit applies.

“Having the wrong amount on your return could trigger a manual review,” according to the H&R Block website, which could delay a refund for weeks.

What should I do if I can’t find my letter?

If you don’t receive Letter 6475 (or lose it), you can find the information on your stimulus payments on your IRS account. If you don’t have one set up, you can create an ID.me account on the IRS website to verify your details.

For more, here’s what to do with that IRS letter for your child tax credit payments and how to file your taxes on your phone.

What if I never got Letter 6475?

If you never got a third stimulus check, you won’t receive Letter 6475. Instead, you’ll need to create an IRS online account to view the amount of your Economic Impact Payments. If you were eligible for payments and didn’t get them, you can get those funds by claiming the recovery rebate tax credit on your 2021 tax return.

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