My warning: $ 11,000 is now in limbo after $ 11 error on my 2020 tax return

I wanted to share how my little oversight turned into a much bigger problem. It all revolves around the timing of my family’s stimulus checks and some of my late father’s inheritance in 2019. In the first round of economic stimulus last year, we received the full amount for our family of four. I intentionally waited to file my 2019 taxes last year, so that the payment would be based on our 2018 returns. My dad passed away in 2019 and he left us enough.

For the second round, however, I didn’t have much of a choice. It was based on the 2019 tax returns and there was no way around it. So our income was higher and we received $ 1,900 instead of $ 2,400. I was fine with that. But the actual amount of the check was $ 1,911, not $ 1,900, and therein lies the problem.

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“Our third stimulus is once again based on our 2019 tax return instead of 2020. I got our new Economic Impact Payment card last week, and the amount is just $ 131.04, instead of $ 5,600. ”

For the third round, I wanted to rush my taxes so that the stimulus payment would NOT be based on my 2019 taxes, but on our most typical income that we received in 2020. We had to get the full amount, which is $ 5,600 for the four of us. But when I did my 2020 taxes, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that I could get that extra $ 500 from the second round if I filled in the blanks correctly on my tax return. Turbo Tax INTU, -0.23%, in his favor, he recommended that I enter exactly the correct stimulus that I got for Round 2 to avoid a delay. I should have listened. I thought it was a safe bet to leave it at $ 1,900, not $ 1,911. There is my mistake. We are owed a tax refund of approximately $ 5,400 for 2020, because we made a sizeable donation to charity last year with part of my father’s estate. I filed our taxes over a month ago, but it still only says “received” when I check the status. I think it’s from my $ 11 mistake. Because of this delay, our third stimulus is once again based on our 2019 tax return instead of 2020. I got our new Economic Impact Payment card last week, and the amount is only $ 131.04, instead of $ 5,600. I’ve since learned that I can claim this money, but not until next year when I file my 2021 taxes. So, due to my mistake, I’m still waiting for our refund of $ 5,400 and our stimulus payment of $ 5,600, up to one year . Oh. What you say? Tom You can email The Moneyist with any financial and ethical questions related to coronavirus at qfottrell@marketwatch.com. Dear Tom, Ouch is right. I commend your stoicism at your delay. And it’s just a delay. That is the good news. Here are the instructions from the IRS: “If there is an error with the credit amount on line 30 of the 1040 or 1040-SR, the IRS will calculate the correct amount, make the correction, and continue to process the return. If a correction is needed, there may be a slight delay in processing the return and the IRS will send the taxpayer a letter or notice explaining any changes. “Here are some common reasons the IRS may have to correct the credit: You You were declared a dependent on someone else’s 2020 tax return. You did not provide the correct social security number. And mathematical errors related to calculating adjusted gross income and previously paid economic impact payments (in cases where uploaded it on their own).

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“‘He has also touched on one of the most challenging aspects of the coronavirus pandemic: the waiting game.’ ”

“Taxpayers who receive a notice that the IRS changed their credit amount for 2020 should read the notice,” adds the IRS. “Next, they should review their 2020 tax return, requirements, and worksheet in the Form 1040 and Form 1040-SR instructions.” You can also refer to additional information here to explain what other errors may have occurred. You are in a fortunate position, of course. You will survive without the check. But it has also touched on one of the most challenging aspects of the coronavirus pandemic: the waiting game. You think your stimulus check is on its way, but then you realize you’ve filled out a form incorrectly. Or you think restaurants will reopen and will, until they don’t. Behavioral economist George Loewenstein wrote about this phenomenon in an essay for MarketWatch. “One of the things that makes waiting more unpleasant is the uncertainty,” he said. “This is true even for good things. Waiting for a date, a vacation, or a wedding where you’re sure will happen can be a bit of a joy, but the slightest bit of uncertainty and the pleasure disappears. “You know your stimulus test is coming. I’m glad I made the choice. enjoy that. The Moneyist: ‘I cut his hair because he doesn’t pay for a haircut’: My billionaire husband is 90 years old. I have cared for him for 41 years, but it does not help my son. to Moneyist’s private FB Facebook group, -0.86%, where we seek answers to life’s thorniest money problems. Readers write to me with all kinds of dilemmas. Post your questions, tell me what you want to know more about or comment on the latest Moneyist columns. By submitting your story to Dow Jones & Company, the publisher of MarketWatch, you understand and agree that we may use your story, or versions of it, on all media and platforms, including through third parties.