During the height of the pandemic, stimulus checks were sent out to millions of Americans. In April of 2020, eligible adults were sent $1,200, then $600 in December of 2020 and $1,400 in March of 2021. In all, the government issued $930 billion in direct payments as part of the relief efforts, but after reviewing tax returns, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, which oversees the IRS, has discovered that $4.7 billion of it has gone unclaimed. That means millions of Americans still have some money out there that is owed to them.
Most of the unclaimed funds are from residents who didn't get the entire third payment or only received part of it. There are also people who didn't originally qualify for the stimulus check but now do, like those whose income dropped in 2021 or those who had a child that year. Fortunately, anyone still owed a stimulus has some time to claim the money. The IRS has been sending out letters to the 2.9 million people affected so that they can rectify the situation, and the letters will continue to be sent periodically.
Those who are eligible for it will receive up to $1,400, or $2,800 for married couples, plus an additional $1,400 for each qualifying dependent. They'll just have to file a tax return for 2021 and claim the Recovery Rebate Credit. They have until the deadline for the tax year 2024, which is the spring of 2025, to do so. They can also amend a previously filed return with a Form 1040-X. If you aren't sure you are affected or not, or just want to learn more about the Recovery Rebate Credit, head to the IRS' website.