x
Breaking News
More () »

St. Louis Breaking News, Weather, Traffic, Sports | KSDK.com

Stimulus #3: Can you 'game the system' and get a bigger payment?

If you made less money in 2020, you might want to file your taxes now before the next stimulus payment goes out.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — How much you get from Stimulus #3 depends on which tax return the IRS uses to give you a payment. Kiplinger says some folks are hoping to “game the system” by making sure they get their 2020 tax return in before the next round of stimulus goes out.

The third stimulus payment will be based on either your 2019 or 2020 tax return. If your 2020 tax return isn't filed and processed by the time the new stimulus payments go out (probably by mid-to-late March), you'll get a stimulus payment based on your 2019 taxes.

If 2019 was really good to you but 2020 wasn’t, due to loss of income you might qualify for more stimulus money if you use your 2020 AGI. Again, you have to file your 2020 taxes before the next payments begin.

Why would you get more stimulus money?


The stimulus phases out the more money you make. For example, in stimulus one, you got the full $1,200 if you made up to $75,000 but the more money you made, the less stimulus you got. If you made $80,000 your payment was phased out to $950. If you made $95,000 your payment was $200.

If you made significantly less money in 2020, it's worth you filing taxes now in an effort to get a bigger stimulus payment before stimulus #3 rolls out.

EVEN IF YOU DON'T FILE TAXES, YOUR 2020 RETURN MAY BE THE ONLY WAY TO GET YOUR STIMULUS MONEY FROM STIMULUS #1 & #2

This is the ONLY way for you to possibly claim the rest of the stimulus money that you did not get in 2020.  The IRS has nine options for you to file for FREE electronically. In fact, any taxpayer or family making less than $72,000 a year can file for free. 

Check out the IRS FREE e-FILE options.

AARP Tax Aid can help you with e-filing. Volunteers and workers are being trained now. Operations open 2/12/2021.