If there were any problems, some Americans who got stimulus payments may get lower refunds or be required to repay part of the money. There are a few possibilities for why this can happen. If you claimed the Recovery Rebate Credit on your tax return in 2021, there might be discrepancies and inaccuracies this year.
It all comes down to letters from the Internal Revenue Service. Nine million math-error letters have been handed out by the government agency. The stimulus checks were the subject of 7.4 million of those notifications. So, what exactly is a math-error notification, and how does it affect you?
A math-error notice is a letter from the IRS informing you that the IRS has discovered errors in your tax information. There are a number of things that may go incorrect, and they don’t all have to do with arithmetic. Someone’s Social Security number, for example, might be partial or absent, someone’s filing status could be incorrect, or someone’s last name could differ from what the agency has on file. The list could go on and on. It would be deemed a math mistake if someone received a stimulus payment incorrectly.
Reasons Why You Might’ve Incorrectly Gotten Stimulus Checks
The main reason individuals are receiving stimulus payments when they shouldn’t is because of their filing status, according to one tax expert. In particular, the filing status of persons who lost a spouse the previous year. “I know a number of folks who lost their spouses in 2018, and when they submitted their 2018 returns in 2019, they filed as married filing jointly (which is the right filing status in such scenario),” the expert said. However, they often obtain extra stimulus money as a result of doing so.
Responding to the IRS Math-Error Letter
If you’ve received a math-error letter, you’re probably wondering what to do with it. To begin with, the worst thing you can do with the IRS notice is do nothing. It’s advisable to talk to someone about it if you’re confused or have questions. These letters may lower the amount of your tax refund if you get stimulus cheques. They might, on the other hand, raise the amount of money you owe the IRS. The notification is just updating your balance or refund based on accurate data. So, if you received a stimulus check-in mistake, the letter is just a notification.
According to The Sun, you have 60 days to react to the IRS notice. If you do not reply to the letter by that date, the IRS’s adjustment will be final. Furthermore, if you do not pay whatever the math-error letter claims you owe, they will be allowed to begin the collection procedure.
Of course, the process has been a shambles. It’s possible that the IRS may send out more letters with better wording. Hopefully, the letters will also provide a clearer explanation of how to avoid stimulus check math mistakes.