Stimulus check: Don't throw out this Biden letter

Stimulus check: Why you need to keep that Biden letter
(Image credit: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

If you receive notices or forms from the IRS or the Biden administration about any of your stimulus payments, don't toss them out. Instead, save them until you file your 2021 tax return next year. 

The IRS was required to mail notices to eligible recipients for a variety of reasons. Most of the forms simply notified individuals of the amount of each stimulus check they received as well as how the payment was made. Some people may also have received forms letting them know how to claim their Recovery Rebate Credit

These forms are Notices 1444 and 1444-A, which had to do with the first round of stimulus checks in the spring of 2020; 1444-B, which went out with the second round of checks in December 2020 and January 2021; and 1444-C. 

(There's also a Notice 1444-D informing incarcerated individuals that following a court ruling, they are eligible for the first stimulus check.)

Notices 1444, 1444-A and 1444-B bore the signature of then-President Trump. The newest form, Notice 1444-C, is currently being distributed. It is a letter signed by President Biden stating the amount of your third stimulus check and how you were (or will be) paid.

Most of these notices look like boilerplate form letters that you could simply toss out, especially once you've confirmed receipt of your actual stimulus payment. However, they are official notices from the IRS with legal weight, and you should hang on to them for a few reasons: 

  • The forms serve as proof that you should have received one or more stimulus checks. If you don't end up getting a payment, you will be able to show the notice to claim what you're owed. 
  • The forms can help you figure out whether to claim a Recovery Rebate Credit or a "plus-up" payment with your 2020 tax return. "Plus-ups" are going to people whose tax status changed substantially in 2020; they may have claimed additional dependents, got married, or made a lot less in 2020 than in 2019. 
  • You may need these forms, especially 1444-C, when you file your 2021 return next spring. 

The IRS says it cannot replace notices that are lost or thrown away, although you can still view the amount of each stimulus check received in your online account

Bottom line: Put any official forms or notices about stimulus payments in a safe place with other tax documents. You'll be a lot happier in the long run.

How to see your stimulus-check amount and status

If you're still waiting for your third stimulus payment, here's how to see your stimulus-check status. To see how much you'll be getting, try out this stimulus-check calculator

Emily Long

Emily Long is a Utah-based freelance writer who covers consumer technology, privacy and personal finance for Tom's Guide. She has been reporting and writing for nearly 10 years, and her work has appeared in Wirecutter, Lifehacker, NBC BETTER and CN Traveler, among others. When she's not working, you can find her trail running, teaching and practicing yoga, or studying for grad school — all fueled by coffee, obviously.