Coronavirus and Your Money

Stimulus Check Deadline Extended

The IRS is giving people who didn't file a 2018 or 2019 tax return more time to claim a stimulus check.

Most people who are eligible for a stimulus check have already received their payment of up to $1,200, plus an extra $500 for each child 16 years old or younger at the end of 2019. However, there are still millions of Americans who haven't received their money because they:

In fact, the IRS recently mailed letters to roughly 9 million people urging them to register online using the IRS tool by October 15 in order to receive their payment before the end of the year. But, as that deadline got closer, the IRS decided to push back the due date and give Americans an extra five weeks to claim a stimulus check.

In many cases, it's people with incomes that aren't high enough to trigger the tax return filing requirement that still need to claim their check. In other words, single people with income below $12,200 and married couples with income under $24,400. Some of these people may be homeless, which makes it more difficult for them to register online.

People receiving Social Security retirement benefits, Supplemental Security Income, Railroad Retirement benefits, or Veterans Affairs compensation and pension benefits may also have to register. If they already received a stimulus check, but they didn't receive the extra $500 payment for a dependent child, they need to go online and provide the IRS with information about the child to get a $500 check for the child.

November 21 Deadline

The deadline to register using the IRS's Non-Filers tool is now 3:00 p.m. Eastern on November 21, 2020 (originally October 15). Make sure you don't miss the extended due date, because the IRS says the tool won't be available after the deadline. Any additional delays would interfere with the IRS's preparation for next year's tax filing season.

If you don't act before the November 21 deadline, you can still get your money if you're eligible for a check – but you'll have to wait until next year and claim it as a tax credit on your 2020 income tax return.

How to Use the Non-Filers Tool

If you use the IRS's Non-Filers tool, you'll be asked to provide your:

  • Full name, current mailing address, phone number and email address;
  • Date of birth;
  • Marital status;
  • Social Security number (and spouse's number, if applicable);
  • Bank account number, type and routing number if you want payment by direct deposit;
  • Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (IP PIN), if you have one; and
  • Driver's license or state-issued ID number, if you have one.

To get an extra $500 for a qualifying child who is 16 years old or younger, you will also need to provide his or her name, Social Security number or Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number, and his or her relationship to you or your spouse.

If you want your payment faster, you can choose to receive it by direct deposit. If you don't select this option, you'll get a paper check in the mail. Also, two weeks after you register, you can track the status of your payment using the IRS's Get My Payment tool.

Note that if you're eligible to receive special tax benefits, such as the earned income tax credit or child tax credit, you can't use the online registration tool. Instead, you need to file a regular tax return as soon as possible. The IRS will use the information on your return to determine and issue any stimulus payment you are entitled to receive.

If you can't or don't want to use the online tool, you can submit a "simplified" paper return. See How to Get a Stimulus Check if You Don't File a Tax Return for more information.

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