comscore Kokua Line: Can I still claim the stimulus if I delay filing my federal taxes? | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Every act of aloha counts. Click here to DONATE to the MAUI RELIEF Fund.
Hawaii News | Kokua Line

Kokua Line: Can I still claim the stimulus if I delay filing my federal taxes?

Honolulu Star-Advertiser logo
Unlimited access to premium stories for as low as $12.95 /mo.
Get It Now

Question: I know the IRS postponed the filing deadline to May 17, but I need more time than that. I didn’t get the first stimulus and want to claim it. Can I still do that on the extension?

Answer: Yes. For an extension to file your 2020 federal income tax return as late as Oct. 15, 2021, submit Form 4868 and your tax payment by May 17, the IRS says. Then, when you file your tax return, claim the Recovery Rebate Credit to receive the first-round Economic Impact Payment that you missed. The second-round EIP can be claimed in the same manner, if you were eligible and did not receive it.

The IRS says taxpayers should not file an incomplete return to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit; it’s better to file a complete return that won’t have to be amended.

As you indicated, the extension to file by May 17 was automatic — no form was needed.

Q:My wife and I finally got the third stimulus, but it was less than the $2,800 we had expected. We have been unable to reach the IRS to find out why. Any information you can provide would be helpful.

A: The IRS continues to tell people not to call, saying that all the information available about their Economic Impact Payments (aka “stimulus”) can be found online, via the Get My Payment tool at

Here are common reasons couples filing jointly didn’t receive the full amount:

>> They made too much money. The third EIP had the steepest income cliff of any of the stimulus rounds. Eligible couples filing jointly could receive the full amount of $2,800 if their adjusted gross income was $150,000 or less. The EIP was reduced above that income, before phasing out completely at an AGI of $160,000 or above. For example, a couple filing jointly with no dependents and an AGI of $155,000 could expect an EIP3 of $1,400, according to the AARP’s EIP calculator.

>> Only one spouse had a valid Social Security number. In that case, they would receive $1,400 (not $2,800). Active-duty members of the U.S. armed forces were exempt from this rule; only one spouse needed a valid SSN for the couple to receive $2,800 in that case.

Eligible filing jointly would also receive $1,400 for each qualifying dependent.

Q: Regarding the driver’s license extension, what if you have a commercial license?

A: The extension of expiration dates applies to commercial licenses, but the license holder must still meet the requirements for a valid Medical Examiner’s Certificate, according to Honolulu County’s Department of Customer Services.

Q: Will they still take cash on TheBus?

A: Yes. Honolulu County’s bus system is phasing out paper passes as it implements the HOLO card electronic debit system, but cash will still be accepted, according to TheBus website.

Regular-fare adults can purchase a HOLO card at local retailers (see for a list) or at TheBus Pass Office. Passengers who qualify for senior, disability or youth discounts can apply for a reduced-fare HOLO card at TheBus Pass Office at the Kalihi Transit Center (see for application requirements), according to the city.


Regarding the overgrowth along Ala Moana Boulevard (, the city said it’s supposed to be mowed about every six weeks, resources allowing. Every six weeks!! Give me a break. This is embarrassing. What if Ala Moana and Kapiolani parks were mowed every six weeks? Find a solution! — K.H.


I was in quite a pickle at the Manoa Marketplace as another car had parked much too close to my car, and I simply could not squeeze in. It was looking like a long day of waiting for me. However, a lady with a long-haired Dachshund saw my plight and solved my problem, as she was able to maneuver to my driver’s seat and back my car out. I didn’t get her name, but she really helped me. Mahalo nui loa to her and her beautiful dog. — Hank Chapin

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

Comments (0)

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Terms of Service. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. Report comments if you believe they do not follow our guidelines.

Having trouble with comments? Learn more here.

Click here to view ongoing news coverage of the Maui wildfires. Sign up for our free e-newsletter to get the latest news delivered to your inbox. Download the Honolulu Star-Advertiser mobile app to stay on top of breaking news coverage.

Be the first to know
Get web push notifications from Star-Advertiser when the next breaking story happens — it's FREE! You just need a supported web browser.
Subscribe for this feature

Scroll Up