Congress is locked in debate over a second round of direct stimulus payments to Americans, but the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is still trying to distribute money from the first round of payments that were included in the CARES Act.
The IRS has once again extended its deadline for filing to receive the $1,200 per adult payments to Nov. 21, a move that it said will help Americans who don’t normally file federal income tax returns. The first round of payments was distributed to taxpayers.
To make sure everyone who is eligible to receive a stimulus payment gets it, the IRS has set up an online portal here for people who don’t typically file a tax return and haven’t received a stimulus check, known as an economic impact payment. But you need to act quickly since the IRS says the tool won’t be available after Nov. 21.
“We took this step to provide more time for those who have not yet received a payment to register to get their money, including those in low-income and underserved communities,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig.
Time is of the essence
Rettig says the tax agency is running out of time since it will soon be involved in the upcoming tax-filing season. He said the IRS won’t have the ability to manage stimulus payments after Nov. 21.
Rettig stresses that the additional time is for Americans who don’t file a tax return. The remaining stimulus money is largely earmarked for this group of people. The IRS sent out nearly 9 million letters last month to people who may be eligible for the $1,200 economic impact payments but don’t normally file a tax return.
“Time is running out for those who don’t normally file a tax return to get their payments,” Rettig said. “Registration is quick and easy, and we urge everyone to share this information to reach as many people before the deadline.”
Non-taxpayers were left out
When Congress passed the CARES Act, it based the stimulus payments on federal tax records. The IRS was given the task of distributing the funds because it already had a way to quickly send out the money. But that left out millions of Americans who don’t file tax returns.
While most eligible U.S. taxpayers have automatically received their stimulus money, others who don’t have a filing obligation are required to register with the IRS to receive their money. Typically, the IRS says, this includes people who receive little or no income -- people for whom $1,200 could make a big difference.
The IRS Non-Filers tool is specifically designed for people with incomes typically below $24,400 for married couples, and $12,200 for singles who could not be claimed as a dependent by someone else. This includes couples and individuals who are homeless.
Anyone using the Non-Filers tool can speed the arrival of their payment by choosing to receive it by direct deposit. Those not choosing this option will get a check.
Meanwhile, Americans would receive another $1,200 stimulus payment under a $2.2 trillion aid package passed by Democrats in the House. However, Republicans have not agreed to support the package.