It’s not too late to file a tax return to claim your missing stimulus money! The IRS extended the tax-filing deadline to May 17, 2021. Even after the deadline, you can still file to claim your money! If you do not owe any Federal taxes, then you can file your return after the deadline without a penalty - in fact, you have 3 years to claim your refund. For information on the Child Tax Credit, visit the Tax Help page.

Need Your First and/or Second Stimulus Check(s)?

Most Illinoisans are eligible for stimulus checks from the federal government. Even if you have no income you may be eligible, but you might have to take action to receive your checks.

The first round of stimulus checks was approved in March of 2020 and was worth up to $1,200 per person ($2,400 for a married couple) and $500 for each eligible dependent under the age of 17.

The second round of stimulus checks was approved in December of 2020 and was worth up to $600 per person ($1,200 for a married couple) and $600 for each eligible dependent under the age of 17.

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What do I need to do to claim my first and second stimulus checks?

Step 1: Check eligibility

Step 2: Make sure the IRS hasn’t already sent your check(s) out

Step 3: File your 2020 taxes to receive money you are eligible for, even if you have no income. You may be eligible for thousands of dollars from your stimulus checks, plus the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit if you qualify.

Learn more below.

Pro Tip: Filing taxes electronically and adding your bank account number will help you receive your check faster. Learn more about safe, affordable bank accounts through Bank On.

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Receive your stimulus check faster with direct deposit.

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Waiting for a check by mail could take many weeks. Entering a direct deposit bank account number could help speed up the process. If you have a bank account or prepaid debit card and have not yet received your stimulus check, you can enter your direct deposit information on your 2020 tax return.

Local banks are offering lower cost, safe accounts for people who need a bank account through Bank On. You can apply online. Learn how to get a Bank On account or what to do if you can’t get an account here.

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If you’ve moved since the last time you filed taxes.

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If you’ve moved since you filed your 2019 or 2020 taxes

If you’ve moved since you filed your 2020 or 2019 taxes but the IRS has your bank account information for your refund, you should still get a direct deposit in your account.

If the IRS doesn’t have your bank account on file and you’ve moved, your paper check may go to the wrong place. Be sure to change your address with the U.S. Postal Service.

Stimulus Check Commonly Asked Questions

Who is eligible to receive a stimulus check from round 1 and round 2?

U.S. citizens or resident aliens who:

  • Have a valid Social Security Number,
  • Cannot be claimed as a dependent of another taxpayer for 2020, and
  • Have an adjusted gross income* for 2020 of up to:
    • $75,000 for individuals filing as single or married filing separately
    • $112,500 for individuals filing as head of household
    • $150,000 for married couples filing joint tax returns or individuals filing as a qualifying widow or widower
  • Taxpayers can get a reduced payment if their adjusted gross income for 2020 is between the limits shown below:
    • $75,001-$99,000 for individuals filing as single or married filing separately
    • $112,501-$136,500 for individuals filing as head of household
    • $150,001-$198,000 for married couples filing joint tax returns or individuals filing as a qualifying widow or widower

You can still receive a stimulus check even if you don’t earn enough to file taxes. This includes people receiving Social Security retirement, disability (SSDI), survivors benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), veterans benefits, or Railroad Retirement benefits.

New! For married couples in which only one spouse has a Social Security Number, the spouse with the Social Security Number is now eligible for Round 1 and 2 stimulus checks.

Incarceration does not make someone ineligible for the payments.

* What is adjusted gross income?

Adjusted gross income is a number found on your tax return (Line 11 of the 2020 Form 1040 tax return). It is the money you receive (wages, child support, interest, etc.) minus some specific costs, like student loan interest or alimony.

How do I know if someone can claim me as a dependent on their tax return?

If in 2020, you provided more than half of your own financial support, then no one can claim you as a dependent on their 2020 return.

When a taxpayer claims someone on their tax return, the taxpayer is saying that the taxpayer provided more than half of that dependent’s support.

If you have been falsely claimed as a dependent on someone’s return, then you will not be able to file your own 2020 tax return. You will need the taxpayer who claimed you to amend their tax return to take you off as a dependent. Or you can file your own 2020 return by mail. Then the IRS will take a closer look at who provided more than half your support for 2020. Illinois residents may be able to get free support navigating a false claim of dependency from the Ladder Up Tax Clinic - more details are available in this flyer.

How can I check on the status of my 2020 tax return and tax refund?

You can use the Where’s My Refund tool on the IRS website to check the status of your tax refund.

You can start checking the Where’s My Refund tool:

  • 24 hours after the IRS receives your electronically-filed tax return
  • 4 weeks after you’ve mailed the IRS your paper tax return

You can reference the Where’s My Refund Frequently Asked Questions page for more information on the tool.

What if I only received Social Security benefits or SSI in 2020?

As long as you meet the eligibility criteria mentioned earlier, you can still file a 2020 tax return to claim your missing stimulus money as the Recovery Rebate Credit - you don’t have to have worked in 2020 to file a 2020 tax return.

What if I owe child support, back taxes, or have other government debts? Will I receive my stimulus money?

The Recovery Rebate Credit can be reduced to pay debts that you owe to Federal government agencies and/or state agencies. The only exception is past-due tax debt - the Recovery Rebate Credit will NOT be reduced to help pay off back taxes that you owe.

Someone on my return doesn’t have a Social Security number.

For married couples in which one spouse does not have a valid Social Security Number, the spouse with a valid Social Security Number is eligible for the Recovery Rebate Credit.

If you have a dependent child under the age of 17 who does not have a valid Social Security Number, then that child will not qualify you for the $500 dependent payment.

Are college students eligible for the Recovery Rebate Credit?

College students who are not considered dependents are eligible. Generally, college students who are under 24, attend full-time, and receive significant financial support from their parents are considered dependents. These students are not eligible.

I am currently or was recently incarcerated. Am I eligible?

Current or previous incarceration does not affect your eligibility.

Will this impact my public benefits like food stamps or TANF?

No. As with any tax refund, these payments will not count against your eligibility for receiving public benefits. The payment also will not affect your benefit amounts.

What should I do if I have moved since I filed my 2020 tax return?

If you’ve moved since you filed your 2020 taxes but the IRS has your bank account information for your refund, you should still get a direct deposit in your account.

If the IRS doesn’t have your bank account on file and you’ve moved, your paper check may go to the wrong place. Be sure to change your address with the U.S. Postal Service.

Where is my stimulus check coming from?

The US Treasury issues the stimulus check.

Some stimulus checks have been issued on a prepaid debit card called the Economic Impact Payment Card. If you receive an Economic Impact Payment Card, it will come in the mail in a plain envelope from “Money Network Cardholder Services.” The Visa name will appear on the front of the Card; the back of the Card has the name of the issuing bank, MetaBank®, N.A. You can visit https://www.eipcard.com/ for more information.

Are individuals who died during 2020 eligible to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit?

Death in 2020 does not impact eligibility for the Recovery Rebate Credit. If a person is otherwise eligible for the tax credit, was alive as of January 1, 2020, but passed away sometime in 2020, then they are eligible to receive however much stimulus money from rounds 1 and 2 that they did not receive.

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