IRS makes final push before stimulus payment deadline

Advice

The Internal Revenue Service reminded taxpayers Thursday that they only have until Nov. 21 at 3 p.m. Eastern Time to register for an Economic Impact Payment of $1,200 or more.

The payments were included as part of the CARES Act that Congress passed in March to provide relief amid the COVID-19 pandemic. They provide $1,200 to individual taxpayers, or $2,400 to married couples, plus an extra $500 per child. The payments initially went out to taxpayers who had filed tax returns for 2018 and 2019, but since many people don’t file tax returns, the IRS also opened a portal for non-filers to register their information for a limited period of time. When that time expired and millions of people had still not received their payments or didn’t include information to claim all their children, the IRS agreed to reopen the portal, but only until Nov. 21. After that, they will have to wait until next year to receive a stimulus payment.

The extended Nov. 21 deadline provided more time to federal beneficiaries who already received an EIP but didn’t register to get the supplemental $500 payments for their qualifying children. Those eligible to provide this information include people with qualifying children who receive Social Security retirement, survivor or disability benefits, Supplemental Security Income, Railroad Retirement benefits and Veterans Affairs Compensation and Pension benefits and didn’t file a tax return in 2018 or 2019.

The IRS is also encouraging anybody who didn’t have a requirement to file a tax return in 2018 or 2019 to register for an Economic Impact Payment by using the Non-Filers tool before the Nov. 21 deadline. That includes qualified low-income families.

The Non-Filers tool is designed for people with incomes typically below $24,400 for married couples, and $12,200 for singles, who couldn’t be claimed as a dependent by someone else. That includes couples and individuals who are experiencing homelessness.

Anybody who uses the Non-Filers tool can speed up the arrival of their stimulus payment by opting to receive it by direct deposit. Those who don’t choose this option will instead receive a check. Starting two weeks after they register, people can track the status of their payment using the Get My Payment tool, available only on IRS.gov.

The only way for those who don’t have a filing requirement to get both the basic payment and the additional amount for each qualifying child is to register via the Non-Filers: Enter Your Payment Info Here page on IRS.gov. The tool will automatically calculate the payment for any eligible couple or individual who registers and includes the requested information for their qualifying children. Those who have already registered will get a payment to cover their qualifying children.

Those who are required to file a 2018 or 2019 tax return should not use the Non-Filers tool, however, the IRS warned. They should instead file their tax return electronically. Those who can be claimed as a dependent on another person’s tax return also shouldn’t use the Non-Filers tool.

The IRS building in Washington, D.C.

Pamela Au/wingedwolf – Fotolia

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