For months, lawmakers have been struggling to come to agree on a second COVID-19 relief package that would allow for an additional round of direct stimulus payments. But some people who were entitled to a payment from the first round still haven't gotten their money. If you're one of them, here are two key IRS deadlines you need to know about.
Under the CARES Act, which authorized the first round of stimulus payments, families were entitled to $500 in stimulus cash per dependent under the age of 17. If you received stimulus money for yourself but not an eligible dependent, Sept. 30 is the deadline to enter information on your dependents using the IRS' non-filer form.
The IRS initially relied on information from either 2018 or 2019 tax returns to determine who qualified for stimulus money, as there were income limits involved. It also relied on information from the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Social Security Administration to determine which beneficiaries of these agencies would qualify for a stimulus. But these agencies only provided income details; they didn't indicate whether beneficiaries had dependents. It's possible that a lot of families are still missing out on $500 or more in stimulus cash.
Not everyone files a tax return, and if your income falls below a certain threshold, you're not required to submit one. As mentioned earlier, the IRS sent out stimulus payments based on the data it had from 2018 and 2019 tax returns, but if you didn't file a return for either tax year, you may have missed out on money that's rightfully yours. This also assumes that you're not receiving Social Security or VA benefits -- if so, the IRS would've gotten your information from one of those agencies.
Either way, it's crucial that you provide your details to the IRS using its online portal. Otherwise, you may have to wait a long time to get the money you deserve.
What happens if you miss these deadlines?
If you're owed money under the first round of stimulus payments and you miss the above deadlines, you're not completely out of luck. But in that case, your only recourse is to claim your stimulus payment when you file your 2020 tax return, which won't happen until 2021. Usually, the IRS begins accepting tax returns in late January, but due to the ongoing pandemic, that deadline might shift. As such, if you don't meet the aforementioned deadlines, you could end up waiting on your money for a very long time.
Don't wait to get your money
Millions of Americans have lost their jobs in the wake of the pandemic and subsequent recession it's spurred, and it could take quite some time for the economy to recover in full. Furthermore, at this point, it's unclear as to whether Americans will receive a second stimulus check this year. Though some lawmakers are pushing for one, Democrats and Republicans have yet to agree on an official relief bill. Until that happens, a second round of direct payments can't go out. As such, if you didn't get an initial stimulus payment but qualify for one -- whether for yourself or a dependent -- submit your information to the IRS. Otherwise, you may not see any extra money until well into 2021.