How to Get a Stimulus Check if You Don't File a Tax Return

Economic stimulus payments are generally based on information from 2018 or 2019 tax returns, but non-filers can still get a check. Here's how.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you're eligible for a stimulus check (not everyone will get one), the IRS will grab the information it needs to process your payment from your 2018 or 2019 tax return. But what if you didn't file a tax return for those two years? After all, not everyone is required to file a return. Are you going to get a check, or is Uncle Sam going to stiff you?

The good news is that you'll still get a stimulus check—but you might have to send the IRS some information first. Whether that extra step is required, and how you provide the necessary information, depends on your unique situation. If, for instance, you're currently receiving Social Security or other government benefits, you might not have to do anything to receive a check. Other non-filers can choose between different methods of supplying the required information. Read on to find out how traditional non-filers can make sure they receive a stimulus check.

(Use our Stimulus Check Calculator to see how much money you'll get. For stimulus check FAQs, see Your 2020 Stimulus Check: How Much? When? And Other Questions Answered.)

Rocky Mengle
Senior Tax Editor, Kiplinger.com

Rocky is a Senior Tax Editor for Kiplinger with more than 20 years of experience covering federal and state tax developments. Before coming to Kiplinger, he worked for Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting and Kleinrock Publishing, where he provided breaking news and guidance for CPAs, tax attorneys, and other tax professionals. He has also been quoted as an expert by USA Today, Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, Reuters, Accounting Today, and other media outlets. Rocky has a law degree from the University of Connecticut and a B.A. in History from Salisbury University.