Tax guide

Do I have to file my 2019 tax return in order to get a stimulus payment?

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If you haven’t filed your 2019 taxes, the IRS will use the adjusted gross income (AGI) from your 2018 tax return. If you haven’t filed in either year but were required to file, you should either file your 2018 or 2019 return as soon as possible.

If you collect certain government benefits but haven’t filed in either year because you are usually not required to file, the IRS will coordinate with the appropriate organization to know where to send your Economic Impact Payments (EIP1 in 2020 and EIP2 in early 2021). This group includes:

  • Social Security recipients
  • Railroad Retirement recipients
  • Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) recipients
  • VA benefit recipients
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients

You’ll receive your EIPs as you would normally receive your benefits, either through direct deposit or by paper check.

If you’re still missing payments or portions of your payments, claim the total missing amount via the Recovery Rebate Credit when you file your 2020 tax return.

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