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What the IRS wants you to do about missing stimulus checks

If you are missing your stimulus money from the first or second round, you can take it as a tax credit when you file your taxes for 2020.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — As Congress continues to discuss a potential third stimulus payment, many Americans are still waiting for their second (or first) stimulus check. 

If you're still waiting for that payment, there's another option: Use the stimulus as a tax credit when filing your 2020 income taxes

“I really need it as back up in our savings," said Cyndi Scott, who's still waiting for her second check from the IRS. 

Scott hopes that check isn't lost in the mail after the IRS tracker said it was sent out for delivery. 

This is one reason why taking your stimulus as a tax credit could be a good option. If you normally don't get money back, that missing stimulus payment, as long as you quality, may kick you some money back in 2021. It's important to file your taxes early to take advantage of this option. 

RELATED: 2020 tax return: Answering frequently asked questions

Credit: Bill McGinty

The Recovery Rebate section on the IRS website walks you through the process of claiming your missing stimulus as a tax credit. The form you'll want is the 1040 or 1040sr. Fill out line 30, that's where you'll list what you're owed but did not get. Your refund will increase or the amount of taxes you owe will go down based on the stimulus. 

RELATED: Tax season: Why you should file as soon as possible

“It’s so important to get things right this year, because the IRS is still overwhelmed, and many are working remotely and they probably won’t have their act together until 2022," said Justin Prusiensky, a CPA in Charlotte. 

Tax season got a late start this year, with the IRS accepting returns since Feb. 12. Despite that late start, the deadline to file your income taxes remains April 15.