by Christy Bieber | Sept. 25, 2020
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Millions of Americans have not received their coronavirus stimulus checks. How many of them live in your state?
The IRS distributed millions of stimulus checks to Americans across the country after the CARES Act authorized payments of up to $1,200 per adult and $500 per dependent child back in March. Sadly, however, as many as nine million people are still owed COVID-19 money.
These are people who did not file tax returns for 2018 or 2019, which are the returns the IRS used to find beneficiary information. Most also don't receive Social Security, railroad retirement, or VA benefits, as these agencies provided data on benefits recipients.
Since the IRS doesn't know exactly who they are, how to send their money, or what size payment they should get, they've received nothing at all. Fortunately, there is still a chance for Americans who didn't get payments to secure their funds by completing a simple form. However, there's a strict deadline of Oct. 15 to do so. The IRS will mail out letters this month to people they suspect didn't receive their payments, a copy of which can be found here. These mailings will be sent nationwide.
The number of people potentially missing payments isn't evenly distributed across the states, though. In fact, many more people are missing their money in certain locales than others.
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According to the IRS, here's how many people in each state will receive a letter because they're potentially missing out on stimulus money they're entitled to.
|State||Number of people contacted about missing stimulus money|
|District of Columbia||33,964|
If you suspect you may be one of the thousands in your state who didn't receive their stimulus money, you should take swift action. You can visit the online tool called "Non-filers: Enter Payment Info Here" to provide the IRS with details about your income, dependents, and where to deposit your payment.
You will need to complete this online form by Oct. 15 if you want to receive your money this year. If you don't, the only way to claim your funds will be to wait until the IRS starts accepting 2020 tax returns -- which will probably be sometime in January 2021 -- and then submit a 1040 form.
Obviously, it's much more complicated to submit a full tax return than just use the online form. And almost all the people who didn't get their payment won't have to file taxes, so they'd have to go through the hassle solely to secure their COVID-19 money. While this is worth doing for a payment that could total thousands of dollars, it involves more effort and more potential expense than simply using the online form now.
If you've already received your stimulus payment, sadly you should not expect any more money to come from Washington D.C. Lawmakers have been engaged in fruitless COVID-19 relief negotiations for months and the chances of them successfully passing a bill have dwindled to almost nothing.
Without more money on its way, it's especially important to shore up your finances during the current recession. If you have a mortgage loan, refinancing at today's record low rates could very well drop your payment and reduce your monthly obligations. And everyone -- homeowner or not -- should put more cash in the bank to bulk up their emergency fund.
Prepare for the possibility that there won't be an additional stimulus payout by making smart financial moves now. That way, you won't have to rely on aid from Washington that might never arrive.
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