IRS Stimulus: Do You Have to Pay Back the $1400?

by Quentin Blount

As Americans wait for the latest $1,400 IRS stimulus checks to hit their bank accounts, many are left with one major question. That is whether or not they will have to pay back however much they receive in relief funds.

The Internal Revenue Service announced on Friday that the first rounds of stimulus checks would be going out this weekend via direct deposit. In fact, it was just hours after that announcement that some people reported having already received their money. But the IRS says that some people may be waiting until next week to get their stimulus.

It’s been a quick turnaround from President Joe Biden signing the bill into law on Thursday. The $1.9-trillion relief package is set to translate into an estimated 159-million payments.

The latest stimulus payments are without a doubt the most generous yet. Individuals can get as much as $1,400, while married couples can get up to $2,800, plus an extra $1,400 per dependent. That means that a family of four can expect up to $5,600 in stimulus help.

Do You Have to Repay Your IRS Stimulus Money?

But one of the most asked questions is whether or not US citizens will have to pay the money back. And to that end we have good news — the answer is no.

Similar to the previous two rounds of relief funding, the latest stimulus check is basically just an advanced payment of the Recovery Rebate tax credit for the 2021 tax year. As a result, the money will not be included as part of your taxable income.

In fact, you won’t be required to repay any relief funding you receive when filing your 2021 taxes. That remains the case even if your third stimulus payment is greater than your 2021 credit.

And if your stimulus happens to be less than what your 2021 credit is worth, then you’ll receive the difference when you file your 2021 return next year. It’s essentially a win-win situation.

Meanwhile, the IRS and Treasury Department are hard at work to disperse the payments electronically to Americans. But it’s hard to say exactly when everyone will get their payments. Most, of course, will be deposited electronically. However, some will be sent in the mail either as a paper check or a pre-paid debit card.

“The payments will be delivered automatically to taxpayers even as the IRS continues delivering regular tax refunds,” IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said in a statement.

There is also a new tool for those who are interested in tracking your stimulus payment online. The IRS will be launching a new “Get My Payment” website on Monday, March 15.