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Hawaii News | Kokua Line

Kokua Line: Nonfiler who failed to register for stimulus may seek tax rebate for full amount in 2021

Question: I was supposed to register online but never did, so I didn’t get the $1,200 stimulus. Is it too late?

Answer: Yes, it is too late to register at to receive the Economic Impact Payment this year. However, assuming that you are eligible, you may claim the full amount in 2021 as a Recovery Rebate Credit, according to the Internal Revenue Service.

To do so, you would file a 2020 Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR, the tax agency explains on its website. Even if you are not usually required to file a federal tax return, you could do so using either form, the IRS says, at

You can also find this information by going to the IRS home page ( and searching for “Recovery Rebate Credit.”

We’ll summarize the basic information, from the IRS:

>> You may be able to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit if you are eligible for but were not issued an Economic Impact Payment in 2020, or if you received an EIP but it was less than $1,200 ($2,400 if married filing a joint return), plus $500 for each qualifying child you had in 2020.

>> You can claim the Recovery Rebate Credit for any recovery rebate amount that is more than the EIP you received in 2020 by completing line 30 of your 2020 Form 1040 or 1040-SR.

>> The 2020 Instructions for Form 1040 and Form 1040-SR will include a worksheet to figure out whether you are eligible for a credit. It determines a credit if your rebate amount is more than the EIP you received.

>> The Recovery Rebate Credit is figured like the EIP, except that the credit eligibility and amount are based on the tax year 2020 information shown on 2020 tax returns filed in 2021.

>> The credit is up to $2,400 if you file a joint tax return or up to $1,200 for all other eligible individuals. Those with qualifying children will receive up to an additional $500 per qualifying child.

>> The credit will be phased out if your adjusted gross income exceeds $150,000 if you are married filing a joint return, $112,500 if you are using the head-of-household filing status, or $75,000 if you are using any other filing status.

>> You won’t be eligible for a Recovery Rebate Credit if you already received your full EIP. Therefore, you won’t need to figure out this credit on your 2020 tax form if you file individually and already received the full EIP of $1,200 plus $500 for each qualifying child you had in 2020; or you file a joint return for 2020 and, together, you and your spouse received $2,400, plus $500 for each qualifying child you had in 2020.

Q: Can I renew my eight-year license by mail because of COVID-19?

A: No. Honolulu County allows renewal by mail for certain two- and four-year driver’s licenses, but not eight-year ones. You can read more at; click on “Changes to Operations.”


To the shoppers who cram onto the escalator one on top of another, right next to me. Don’t do that! Leave a step or two in between for safety. Follow the 6-feet rule. — COVID-free customer


I’d like to express my deepest gratitude to the Christmas angel who found my credit card Thursday in the parking lot of the Makiki post office and turned it in to the staff there. Bless you for doing the right thing, and bless the agent at the post office who held it until I came back to look for it less than 10 minutes later. You saved me from a lot of stress and anxiety, not to mention the phone calls to report a lost/stolen card. I will pay it forward by donating a little extra to one of the needy charities this Christmas. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Stay safe and stay healthy! — C.K.

Write to Kokua Line at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or email

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