Coronavirus tax resource center

Get the latest on the stimulus bill, available aid for individuals and families, and how coronavirus impacts your taxes.

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March 22, 2021

“Lookback” rule lets you use 2019 income on two credits

March 31, 2021

Revised state tax deadlines for 2020 returns (2021 filing season)

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UPDATED 06/17/2021

Third stimulus payments and tax provisions

Third stimulus payments have been sent to millions of Americans

In March 2021, millions of Americans received a third stimulus payment as part of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act of 2021. In addition to individual stimulus payments, the bill created several provisions to provide financial relief during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

You can find information about stimulus eligibility directly below. For details about changed tax credits, unemployment benefits, and other updates from the ARP Act, review the Tax filing impacts section below.

Please know H&R Block is here for you and can answer any questions you may have regarding stimulus payments and these new provisions.

Third stimulus amount and eligibility differ from previous rounds

If you’re eligible, the new bill allows for $1,400 per individual or $2,800 per couple and $1,400 for each dependent.

The amount and who qualifies to receive a stimulus check are both different with this third stimulus. This time, all dependents on your tax return will qualify, including children ages 17 and older, and elderly relatives you claim as a dependent.

Similar to previous stimulus rounds, you’re likely to receive a third stimulus payment whether you’re employed full time, part time, a gig worker, unemployed or retired.

That includes:

  • Individuals who file as single or married filing separate making less than $75,000/year,
  • Individuals who file as head of household making less than $112,500/year,
  • couples and surviving spouses who file jointly making less than $150,000/year, plus
  • each dependent the eligible individual has.

If your income is above those ranges, your amount will be reduced. Leave that math to us—Our stimulus payment calculator can help you estimate how much you may receive! You’ll also find additional eligibility information on that page.

The IRS will use your most recent info to determine eligibility and delivery

To determine your stimulus amount and where to make the payment, the IRS will use the most recent information it has on file.

  • If your 2020 return has already been processed, the IRS will use information from this year’s return.
  • If you haven’t filed for 2020 yet, or if you’ve filed but your 2020 return hasn’t yet been processed, the IRS will generally use information from your 2019 return.

Checking your payment status with the IRS

The IRS Get My Payment tool is now available for you to check the status of your payment. Get My Payment will only reflect a status once the payment has been issued. You cannot make any updates to your bank information.

Information for Emerald Card holders

Most third stimulus payments have already been deposited on Emerald Cards

If you are eligible for a third stimulus payment, it should be deposited to your Emerald Card account if:

  • You received this year’s tax refund on your Emerald Card OR
  • You received the second stimulus payment on your Emerald Card and you haven’t filed yet this year or this year’s return has not been processed by the IRS.

If you elect to receive your 2020 refund on your Emerald Card, you may receive additional payments to the card if you qualify for a ‘top up’ payment of the third stimulus or if IRS adjusts your return to exclude unemployment compensation.

Haven’t activated your Emerald Card? Need an update on your payment? Simply log into MyBlock or by call 1-866-353-1266 and entering the last four digits of their Emerald Card account. MyBlock will only reflect a status once the payment has been issued.

Find additional information about stimulus payments on Emerald Cards.

American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act of 2021 provisions that may benefit you

In addition to stimulus payments for millions, the ARP Act provides taxpayers additional relief through updated provisions to several tax credits. We’ve outlined the impacted tax years along with the provisions. In the case of the Child Tax Credit, financial benefits are expected to be available as soon as July 2021. Most of these apply to next year and beyond.

  • Unemployment income (tax year 2020)
    • The first $10,200 of unemployment benefits received per taxpayer can be excluded from 2020 income for households with adjusted gross incomes of less than $150,000.
  • Child Tax Credit  (For tax year 2021 only)
    • Expanded to $3,000 for those age six to 17 and $3,600 for those under age six
    • Taxpayers’ eligibility for the expanded child tax credit (the amount above $2,000) will be reduced if their income is higher, starting at $75,000 for single and Married Filing Separate filers; $112,500 for Head of Household filers; and $150,000 for Married Filing Jointly Filers and Qualified Widow(er)s
    • Credit amounts are fully refundable, meaning some may receive part of the credit back as a refund
    • Advance payments of up to half of the credit will be distributed in equal monthly payments by the IRS during the second half of 2021, instead of just as part of filing a tax return.
    • Estimate how much you could receive with our Child Tax Credit Calculator.
  • Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) tax year 2021 and beyond
    • Increased maximum EITC of $1,512 for those without children (called the childless EITC), which is now open to anyone age 19 and above (For tax year 2021 only)
    • Taxpayers with children whose children fail EITC eligibility requirements can claim the childless EITC (For tax year 2021 and beyond)
    • Expanded access to the credit for separated spouses and for those with investment income (For tax year 2021 and beyond)
    • Taxpayers can calculate their tax year 2021 EITC using their 2019 earned income thanks to a “lookback rule” update (For tax year 2021 only)
  • Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit (For tax year 2021 only)
    • Increased allowable expenses to $8,000 for qualifying individuals and $16,000 for two or more qualifying individuals
    • Increased credit rate to 50% of allowable expenses (currently it’s a maximum of 20-35% of qualified expenses) with the credit rate phaseout starting at $125,000
    • Credit amount is now refundable for most (exceptions apply for some taxpayers who lived abroad part of the year)
    • Expanded exclusion amount for those with employer-provided dependent care benefits to $10,500 ($5,250 for Married Filing Separate) for child and dependent care expenses paid under an employer’s plan (those with a qualifying FSA)
  • Premium Tax Credit
    • Expanded the applicable qualifying ranges (defined as a percentage of the federal poverty level) and lowering the maximum percent of income a taxpayer must pay. (For tax year 2021 and 2022)
    • Advance payment amounts that taxpayers receive in excess of the credit do not need to be repaid (For tax year 2020 only)
  • Student loan forgiveness (For tax years 2021 to 2025)
    • Forgiven loans don’t need to be counted as taxable income
    • Applies to certain loans for post-secondary educational expenses
UPDATED 06/17/2021

Tax filing impacts

2020 Tax filing

Haven’t filed your 2020 return yet? H&R Block is here help you complete your tax return whether you file taxes online or with a tax pro.

Claiming your full stimulus amount

Don’t worry, if you had changes to income, filing status, or dependent information.

Whether you work with one of our tax pros or use H&R Block Online, we’ll make sure you’ll receive any stimulus money you missed that you qualify for from the first and second stimulus when you file your 2020 tax return through a recovery rebate credit. If your 2020 tax return qualifies you for a larger third stimulus check than you received based on your 2019 tax return, the IRS may send the additional payment for the difference after your tax returns is processed.

Eligibility for the Earned Income Credit or Additional Child Tax Credit

Good news: A special rule can help you continue to claim these valuable credits—even if your income has changed. With this new “lookback” rule, you can choose to use your 2019 earned income information to determine your eligibility for the Earned Income Credit and the Additional Child Tax Credit if doing so results in a larger credit.

If it’s better for you to use your 2020 income, you don’t have to use the new rule.

Filing tip for your 2020 taxes

For faster processing, many revenue departments recommend you submit your return via e-file instead of through the U.S. mail because they are operating with limited in-person staff.

Complicated year. Complicated taxes.

See how 2020 returns changed for these three filers in our 2020 tax impacts infographic.

UPDATED 03/10/2021

Unemployment benefits

 Who is eligible?

Anyone who lost their job and/or had to quit due to coronavirus impacts may be eligible. This includes full-time and part-time employees including:

  • Business owners
  • Self-employed
  • Contractors
  • Gig workers
  • People with a limited work history

Complete information is available on the IRS website.

What are the benefits?

Federal unemployment benefits will be $300 per week, through September 6, 2021. This additional benefit is on top of any amount you’re eligible for within your state. For those who’ve exhausted their benefits, the maximum number of weeks for pandemic emergency unemployment compensation increases to a total of 53 weeks.

How do I get it?

The quickest way to apply is through your state’s unemployment office. Applications are also taken over the phone if you prefer to call.

Coronavirus FAQs

UPDATED 03/10/2021

Stimulus Payments

Will I owe taxes on the third stimulus payment?
My spouse doesn’t have a SSN, do we qualify this time?
What if my spouse has passed away in 2019 and I filed Married Filing Jointly?
What if my spouse has passed away in 2020 after we received the first stimulus payment?
I got an email/text/social media request from the IRS asking about my bank account. Should I reply? How will the IRS contact me to verify my information?
I’m not able to get through to the IRS by phone; how do I get my question answered?