How to Get a Stimulus Check for 2020 If You Didn't Qualify First Time Around

Didn't qualify for the stimulus check because your income was too high last year? Or perhaps you only got a portion of the economic impact payment? Well, you might still be entitled to receive the money later down the line.

The IRS has started to make the payments to eligible Americans. If you filed a tax return in 2018 or 2019, the IRS will use the most recent information to determine your eligibility for a payment based on income thresholds for receiving a stimulus check.

The maximum payment is $1,200 for individuals or heads of household, $2,400 for married joint-filers, and $500 per qualifying child under 17.

But there are income thresholds at which these maximum payments are tapered down in value. This tapering begins at an adjusted gross income of up to $75,000 for single filers, $112,500 for head of household filers, and $150,000 for married filers.

"For filers with income above those amounts, the payment amount is reduced by $5 for each $100 above the $75,000/$112,500/$150,000 thresholds," the IRS states.

"Single filers with income exceeding $99,000, $136,500 for head of household filers and $198,000 for joint filers with no children are not eligible and will not receive payments."

However, if your income for 2020 falls below these thresholds, you can still claim the Economic Impact Payment as a tax credit when filing to the IRS at the end of the year—even if you didn't qualify based on your income in 2018 or 2019.

"The Economic Impact Payment is a credit that will be calculated on the 2020 Individual Income Tax Return and will be reduced for any advances received, which are the payments being released now," David M. Kaplan, principal at the accounting firm Bernard Robinson & Company, told Newsweek.

"The amounts now are an advance based on the information the IRS has from the 2019, or 2018 if applicable, Individual Income Tax Return they have on file.

"Taxpayers who were phased out from receiving the advance of the Economic Impact Payment but whose adjusted gross income would qualify in 2020 will get the credit on their 2020 Individual Income Tax Return."

This also works the other way around. If you were entitled to receive the stimulus check based on your 2018 or 2019 income, but would not qualify because your income is higher in 2020, you will not need to repay any of the money you received.

Kaplan explained that the CARES Act—the legislation under which the stimulus checks were introduced by Congress—states that the "amount of the credit in 2020 shall be reduced by the advance, but not below zero. By not allowing the reduction to go below zero, any advance received, even if not eligible in 2020, would not need to be repaid."

The IRS also clarifies the issue of repayment on its website: "No, the Payment is not income and you will not owe tax on your Payment. It will not reduce your refund or increase the amount you owe when you file your 2020 tax return next year.

"A Payment also will not affect your income for purposes of determining eligibility for federal government assistance or benefit programs."

IRS stimulus check 2020 payment
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) building stands on April 15, 2019 in Washington, DC. April 15 is the deadline in the United States for residents to file their income tax returns. Zach Gibson/Getty Images