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I didn’t get my stimulus. How can I get it on my 2020 tax return?

By Karin Price Mueller | for

Q. I did not receive a stimulus check because my income was too high in 2019. My 2020 income will be lower. Will I be able to get a tax credit for the stimulus based on my 2020 income?

— Need the money

A. There have been many questions about what happens for those in your situation.

The first round of stimulus checks were given to people based on their 2019 income tax returns.

If you were single and earned less than $75,000, you were eligible for a $1,200 payment, said Bernie Kiely, a certified financial planner and certified public accountant with Kiely Capital Management in Morristown.

If your 2019 income was over $75,000, your payment was partially phased out, and if you earned more than $99,000, you didn’t get a payment.

For those who were married and filing jointly, the payment was $2,400 for earnings up to $112,500, Kiely said. The phase out began at $112,500 and was completely phased out by $136,500.

There was also a $500 payment for each child under age 17 but that was also subject to a phase-out.

Then there was a second stimulus payment of $600 for singles and $1,200 for married couples, with an additional $600 for each child under age 17.

Now to your question.

The 2020 federal income tax return has a new worksheet called the “Recovery Rebate Credit Worksheet,” Kiely said. You would use this worksheet to determine if you are eligible for a stimulus payment based on your 2020 income.

“The maximum rebate credits for those with no children under age 17 are $1,800 for singles and $3,600 for couples,” he said. “After completing the 21-line worksheet, the amount of your credit is then included on Line 30 of Form 1040.”

The credit will increase your refund or reduce the amount of tax owed, Kiely said.

Email your questions to

Karin Price Mueller writes the Bamboozled column for NJ Advance Media and is the founder of Follow NJMoneyHelp on Twitter @NJMoneyHelp. Find NJMoneyHelp on Facebook. Sign up for’s weekly e-newsletter.


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