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Tag Archive for Recovery Rebate Credits

IRS Letters Explain Why Some 2020 Recovery Rebate Credits Are Different Than Expected

IRS Letters Explain Why Some 2020 Recovery Rebate Credits Are Different Than Expected

As people across the country file their 2020 tax returns, some are claiming the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit (RRC). The IRS is mailing letters to some taxpayers who claimed the 2020 credit and may be getting a different amount than they expected.

It’s important to remember that the first and second Economic Impact Payments (EIP) were advance payments of the 2020 credit. Most eligible people already received the first and second payments and shouldn’t or don’t need to include this information on their 2020 tax return.

People who didn’t receive a first or second EIP or received less than the full amounts may be eligible for the 2020 RRC. They must file a 2020 tax return to claim the credit, even if they don’t usually file a tax return.

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Offset Of Recovery Rebate Credits: The IRS Has Agreed To Exercise Its Discretion To Stop Offsets Of Federal Tax Debts

Offset Of Recovery Rebate Credits: The IRS Has Agreed To Exercise Its Discretion To Stop Offsets Of Federal Tax Debts

In a previous blog, I pointed out that a change in the law made in late December affected the treatment of recovery rebate credits (RRCs) claimed on taxpayers’ 2020 income tax returns. Unlike the advance payments issued to individuals last spring and in early January, the credit claimed on a 2020 tax return will be reduced to pay off certain outstanding debts. This offset creates an inconsistency between the treatment of the advance payments and the treatment of RRCs claimed on 2020 tax returns where the RRC will be reduced by outstanding liabilities. This is a big deal for taxpayers affected by the change.

Good news:  The IRS has agreed to use its discretion to bypass offsets for federal tax debts for taxpayers filing 2020 returns that claim the RRC.

By Way of Background

When Congress directed the IRS to issue stimulus payments (otherwise known as Economic Impact Payments or EIPs) of $1,200 per adult and $500 per qualifying child beginning in April 2020 and then for an additional $600 per person beginning in December, it required that the payments be issued without reduction to satisfy other debts of the recipient (except for child support for the first round of payments). The rationale seemed clear: Individuals in debt are often the ones financially struggling the most, and Congress wanted the funds to reach these people without any reductions as soon as possible.

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