Written By: Andy Jones
Many low- and middle-income families that do not typically file tax returns may have missed out on additional economic stimulus payments that they were eligible for by virtue of having children in the household. Because of this, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced August 14 that it is temporarily re-opening an online tool to allow those parents to claim their payments.
Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act, the IRS was authorized to issue economic stimulus payments up to $1,200 ($2,400 for couples who file joint taxes) to people earning up to $99,000 ($198,000 for joint filers). Qualifying parents were also entitled to an additional $500 payment for each child under age 17.
Upon the passage of the CARES Act in March, the IRS initially signaled that everyone would need to file tax returns for the agency to determine eligibility for the payments—including the tens of millions of people who do not typically file taxes because they are ineligible for a refund due to having insufficient income or employment history.
The IRS quickly reversed course for Social Security recipients, including Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients, and deposited stimulus payments directly into their bank accounts. It also launched an online “IRS Non-Filers” tool — a simplified method for people to provide the IRS their basic information to determine eligibility for stimulus payments, without having to file tax returns.
According to the IRS, however, the agency did not have household composition information for many of the Social Security recipients that it deposited checks to, and thus failed to provide them the additional $500 payments for children. The IRS is now asking these households to enter their information into the Non-Filers Tool to ensure they receive their full benefits.
The IRS Non-Filers Tool re-opened August 15 and will remain open until September 30. It can be accessed here. Those who don’t register by the new deadline will have to claim the $500 as a credit on their 2020 taxes.
In addition, many non-filers have not reveived their $1,200 stimulus checks. If you are among them, you must register for your payment using the Non-Filers Tool by October 15 in order to receive your payment by the end of the year.
“IRS employees have been working non-stop to deliver more than 160 million Economic Impact Payments in record time,” IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said in a news release. “We have coordinated outreach efforts with thousands of community-based organizations and have provided materials in more than two dozen languages. Given the extremely high demand for [economic impact payments], we have continued to prioritize and increase resource allocations to eligible individuals, including those who may be waiting on some portion of their payment.
“To help with this, we are allocating additional IRS resources to ensure eligible recipients receive their full payments during this challenging time.”