Second stimulus check update: If you haven’t received your stimulus payment, you can now ‘File for free’ with the IRS – Community News
Stimulus Check

Second stimulus check update: If you haven’t received your stimulus payment, you can now ‘File for free’ with the IRS

If you don’t receive your second stimulus payment or if you never received the first stimulus, you will need to file a tax return to get the money.

On Friday, the IRS opened Free File, free online tax preparation products so taxpayers can claim a credit against which to receive their payment.

While the site is open, the IRS won’t accept electronic returns until Feb. 12, so it may take additional time to program and test the system to process the credits that apply to the second stimulus payments, it said.

IRS Free File is available to any taxpayer or family who earned $72,000 or less in 2020.

The IRS said leading tax software providers are making their online products available for free as part of a 19-year partnership with the agency. There are nine products in English and two in Spanish, the IRS said.

Last year, more than 4 million people used the free products, according to the IRS.

“IRS Free File providers accept completed tax returns and keep them until they can be filed electronically once the IRS begins processing returns,” the IRS said. “The free fillable forms, the electronic version of paper IRS forms, will also be available later when the filing season begins. This product is best for people who feel comfortable preparing their own taxes and it is safe and secure.”

The IRS said each IRS Free File provider sets its own eligibility rules for products based on age, income, and citizenship, but those making less than $72,000 a year will find at least one product they qualify for.

The agency said people who have not received a stimulus payment must claim a “Recovery Rebate Credit” on their federal returns to receive the benefit.

In 2020, the IRS issued two incentive payments known as Economic Impact Payments.

Initial payments were up to $1,200 per person and $500 per eligible child. The second payments were up to $600 per eligible person and $600 per eligible child.

“For 2021, eligible taxpayers who have not received the full amount can claim it as the Recovery Rebate Credit when they file their 2020 tax returns,” according to the IRS. “Use IRS Free File to file and claim this important benefit.”

To sign up for IRS Free File, go to IRS.gov/FreeFile. Use the “Free Online File Search” tool for help finding the right product, or check out each provider’s offer using the “Browse All Listings” tool, according to the IRS. After you select a product, you can follow the links to get started.

If you don’t have a computer, the IRS said its products are also available on cell phones.

Here is the list of providers participating in IRS Free File for 2021:

  • 1040Now,
  • ezTaxReturn.com,
  • FreeTaxReturn.com,
  • FileYourTaxes.com,
  • Intuit (Turbo Tax),
  • Online Taxes (OLT.com),
  • tax law,
  • TaxHawk (FreeTaxUSA),
  • TaxSlayer.

For 2021, the following providers will have IRS Free File products in Spanish:

  • ezTaxReturn.com,
  • TaxSlayer (available after January 18).

Keep in mind that not all providers offer free state tax returns, so be sure to see what charges you may incur.

Also know that the IRS had until January 15 to send all second stimulus payments. If you haven’t received one, a check or debit card may still come in the mail.

Use the IRS Get My Payment tool to see if a payment has been sent to you.

Use our second stimulus payment calculator to see how much your benefit can be.

Sign up now and support the local journalism you trust and rely on.

Karin Price Mueller can be reached at: [email protected].