Back Taxes, Previous Year Return(s) and Stimulus Checks

The IRS only allows e-filing for the current year tax return and they will not accept e-filing for previous year tax returns, so you can no longer prepare and e-file a 2020 or 2021 tax return online. However, you can prepare previous year paper returns and mail them to the IRS. Thus, if you still need to file a 2020 or 2021 return to claim the federal stimulus payments, you can manually prepare and mail in your 2020 and 2021 tax return(s).

Claim Stimulus 1 and 2 on 2020 Return: If you did not receive Stimulus 1 and/or 2, and did not claim them on a 2020 Return, and you were eligible for them, then file back taxes now. After April 15, 2024, you will no longer be able to claim the first two stimulus payments. The only way to claim Stimulus 1 and 2 is by filing a 2020 Return. To do so, fill in the forms manually and claim the credit on the Form 1040. Estimate your Stimulus 1 and 2 amounts here:

Stimulus 1 Calculator

Stimulus 2 Calculator

Once you have these amounts, combine them and report this on the Form 1040, Line 30, Recovery Rebate Credit: 2020 Form 1040.

Find any other required 2020 Forms here. If you are a non-filer and/or are only filing to get the payment(s), then all you need is the Form 1040.

Claim Stimulus 3 on 2021 Return: If you did not receive some or all of Stimulus 3, you will need to claim it by mailing in a 2021 Return. You can claim this by manually filling in the forms and claiming the credit on the Form 1040, Line 30, Recovery Rebate Credit. Estimate your Stimulus 3 eligibility and amount here:

Stimulus 3 Calculator

Note: If you are only filing to claim this payment (non-filer, Social Security recipient, SSI recipient, etc.), then you only need to fill in 2021 Form 1040 with your personal information, add the amount from the calculator, and total it on Lines 34 and 35.

If you are also claiming the 2021 Child Tax Credit, follow these instructions. Add both your Stimulus 3 and CTC amount to Lines 34 and 35.

Find any other required 2021 Forms here.

If you claim dependents, be sure to add their information in the dependents section. Add your other information on the Form 1040 - name and address, wages, retirement, standard deduction, etc.

Your return is not completed until it is signed and dated.

Prepare and e-file your 2022 Taxes on - the eFile platform handles all the forms and calculations for you so you do not have to handle any complicated forms. The IRS and states only allow current year returns to be filed electronically (currently, 2022). Important: you can not claim any stimulus payments by filing a 2022 Return online.

See information on stimulus checks as they apply to 2020 and 2021.

For 2021 and all other previous year resources, see back taxes.