How US expats can still claim $3.200 in US COVID stimulus checks
As a US expat, you're often having to explore and handle the intricacies of life overseas. However, there's one opportunity you need to take advantage of: claiming your US government stimulus checks, also known as Economic Impact Payments, which can amount to up to 3.200 dollars. What’s more, the ultimate due date is approaching: June 15, 2024.
1040 Abroad: Make the most of US taxes
This is not just another date; it's your final chance to request a refund that you may be entitled to. To help you make the most of this system, 1040 Abroad can guide you through the key fundamentals of being compliant with US taxes and how to claim what's legitimately yours.
What are US COVID stimulus checks?
The stimulus package, officially known as Economic Impact Payments, was introduced by the federal government as a response to the economic challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. These checks aimed to provide financial assistance to American citizens, including those living abroad, against the economic impact of COVID-19, as many economic activities were at a standstill during the coronavirus pandemic.
By default, they would be issued to claimants in the form of a paper check, but they can also be requested from abroad as a direct deposit or as a direct payment to a US-based bank account.
Qualification criteria for US expats
The eligibility criteria for US expats to claim the Economic Impact Payments issued by the IRS amid the COVID-19 pandemic are as follows:
- You must be a US citizen or US resident.
- You must not be claimed as a dependent on somebody else's tax return.
- You must have a Social Security Number (SSN) that is valid for work. If you or your spouse are part of the military, that requirement can be waived.
To claim the full COVID-19 stimulus checks, your income had to be less than 75.000 US dollars in 2020 and 2021. The third check was completely phased out (i.e., dropped to zero) if your income was more than 80.000 dollars for individual filers and 160.000 dollars for couples filing joint returns.
Schedule a call with 1040 Abroad if you are unsure whether you are entitled to the subsidy.
How do my tax filings impact the stimulus check?
While it was possible to claim these stimulus checks without filing a US tax return in 2020 or 2021, this is now a requirement and is the only way to claim them.
The IRS initially issued these checks based on the 2019 tax return they had on file. This means those who didn’t file, even though they were eligible for the refunds, didn’t receive them. This is the case for many US citizens living overseas. If that is your case, 1040 Abroad can help you file your 2019, 2020 and 2021 tax returns, so that you can benefit from the stimulus.
How important is compliance when filing?
Compliance ensures you’re in good standing with the IRS and eligible for any financial relief programs the US government offers. Entering into compliance doesn’t mean that you will have penalties, and in many cases, you wouldn’t even have tax owing.
How to claim your US stimulus check
The main step to claiming the COVID-19 stimulus checks is to file the 2020 and 2021 tax returns. Here’s what you need to do:
- File your 2020 and 2021 Tax Returns: If you haven’t already filed them, it’s crucial to do so immediately.
- Claim the Recovery Rebate Credit: On your 2020 and 2021 tax returns, you’ll find a section for the Recovery Rebate Credit.
- Understand the deadline: Due to the three-year statute of limitations for claiming a tax refund, the final opportunity to file these returns and claim your stimulus checks is rapidly approaching. The deadline is June 15th, 2024, so acting now is imperative.
- Gather necessary documentation: To file these returns, you’ll need all relevant income statements and other financial documents from 2020 and 2021.
- Submit your tax returns: File your 2020 and 2021 tax returns with the Recovery Rebate Credit included. If you’re unsure how to do this, seek assistance from a tax professional specialising in expat tax issues.
- Track your refund: After filing, you can track the status of your refund through the IRS’s “Where’s My Refund?” website. This will give you updates on when to expect your stimulus payment.
With the June 15, 2024, deadline for claiming your stimulus checks through the Recovery Rebate Credit fast approaching, the Streamlined Compliance Procedures offer a valuable opportunity to become compliant and claim what you’re entitled to. Schedule a call with one of 1040 Abroad’s experts to find out more.
1040 Abroad: Your partner in navigating expat tax challenges
At 1040 Abroad, they understand US expats' unique challenges in managing their tax obligations. Their mission is to provide you with the expertise and support to navigate these complexities confidently. They pride themselves on being a firm that stands against fearmongering tactics, focusing instead on empowering you with knowledge and solutions.
Discover how 1040 Abroad can help you get the most out of your US taxes today!