Are you owed money? How to get more money back on your taxes

You might be eligible to get more money back on your taxes this year, especially if you qualified but didn’t get one of either stimulus payments.

We are past the cut off for the government sending out stimulus checks, so what do you do if you missed out?

We are getting answers about how stimulus payments and other COVID credits may mean more money for you in 2021.

Missing stimulus payments

Holly Hunsaker is frustrated. She called our Investigates Tipline for answers.

“My stimulus check has not come yet,” she said,

Hunsaker expected the payments weeks ago, but so far, nothing. Her mom is in the same boat.

“My mom and I both received direct deposit last time and this time it says we are getting it in the mail and it has not arrived in the mail,” said Hunsaker. “I think it is messed up. it’s not coordinated correctly.”

The latest round of stimulus money was sent to people by direct deposit or a prepaid debit card or in the mail. But, if you haven’t received it by now you will have to wait.

“I’m just telling everybody if you didn’t receive it by January 15th it’s just automatically going to go on your taxes,” said Tiffany Woods of Triple Threat Money Services.

How to find missing money

We went to tax expert Woods to get answers about missing stimulus money. Woods runs a tax prep business called Triple Threat Money Services. She sees first hand why missing a stimulus payment is a big deal for a lot of people.

“That’s a lot of money,” said Woods. “That’s a lot of money for somebody who has been behind on their rent. Somebody who not able to pay their bills, get behind on their car note.”

Besides missing checks, some of you have emailed and called us saying you have a new bank so the information the IRS had was wrong.

(They didn’t give people a chance to update this information before sending out the latest round of checks.)

You can still get your money by claiming the “Recovery Tax Credit” on your taxes. See line 30 of the 1040 tax document.

“The first thing it will say is economic payment number one,” explained Woods. “You’ll put in how much you received in your first economic payment and how much it was. If you didn’t receive the second one you will just put in zero and the computer will automatically calculate - and add it to your tax return.”

If you normally don’t file taxes but are owed stimulus money, fill out the “non-filers” tax return form.

New tax credits for 2020

There is a lot of tax changes for 2020. Also, new this year, parents who own small businesses qualify for additional tax credits if you had to stay home from work to homeschool kids last year.

There are also new sick and family leave credits.

“If you caught COVID there’s a credit for that. Or if you had to take care of someone who had COVID there’s a credit for that,” said Woods.

Woods said filing for the Recovery tax credit is a simple process but if you are adding other tax credits it could get complicated. You might consider hiring someone to help you.

If you had a baby in 2020 but you didn’t get the extra money for your baby on your stimulus, you should get that on your taxes when you claim the new baby. Woods said you should start preparing now but the IRS won’t actually start accepting returns until February 12th.

“There’s plenty of money out there people just need to know where to go and get it,” said Woods.

“I think people are struggling during this pandemic and I think this is something that really will help,” said Holly.

Free tax help

The IRS released a list of “free” virtual tax prep companies that can help you file. You can find that list here.

But, like Woods mentioned, with all of the new credits and changes it might be worth hiring someone to help. She said her company Triple Threat Money Services is already busy helping customers, so acting fast is key when it comes to finding the right service for you. You can contact Triple Threat Money Services at 281-620-1684 or 346-342-1944.

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