IRS Gives Non-Filers More Time to Claim Their Coronavirus Stimulus Checks

by Christy Bieber | Updated July 25, 2021 - First published on Oct. 8, 2020

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Make sure you get your information in by the deadline.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) authorized payments of up to $1,200 per adult and $500 per dependent, and put the IRS in charge of delivering the money.

It has used data from 2018 and 2019 tax returns to distribute those payments. But unfortunately, not everyone files a tax return. The IRS also obtained information about some non-filers from the Social Security Administration and Veterans Administration and made forms available for other non-filers to submit their details. However, there are still a sizable number of people who have not received their coronavirus stimulus payments.

The IRS has sent out an estimated nine million letters to people it suspects did not get their money. But the Government Accountability Office urged the agency to do more. As a result, the IRS has extended the deadline for non-filers to submit their information online.

The IRS had previously set a deadline of Oct. 15, 2020 for those who did not file (and do not plan to file) returns for the 2018 or 2019 year. The deadline has now been pushed to Nov. 21. This gives non-filers more than a month of additional time to complete the online form necessary to secure their funds this year.

Here's what the extended IRS deadline means for you

If you already received your first coronavirus stimulus check authorized by the CARES Act, there is nothing you need to do. Lawmakers in D.C. have been negotiating on a second stimulus bill for months and failed to reach a consensus. The president has now urged his team to suspend the ongoing talks. It's unlikely any further COVID-19 money will be deposited into your bank account prior to the election.

If you did not receive an initial COVID-19 payment, however, you may still be owed money. That's cash you could put into a savings account or use to pay down debt.

If you have not filed a 2019 tax return and don't plan to do so, make sure you submit your information to the IRS using the online form for non-filers. And you'll need to do this by the new Nov. 21 deadline. Don't wait, as you have only a limited amount of time. There is a chance the IRS could extend the deadline again, but there's no guarantee.

You'll need to provide a few simple pieces of information, including your contact details, your Social Security number, and information about your dependents so you can receive the correct amount of money. The online form is much simpler than completing a full tax return, and meeting the new November deadline is likely your last opportunity to get your money this year.

If you miss the extended deadline, the only way to get your COVID-19 payment will be to wait until the IRS begins accepting tax returns for 2020 and submit one then. This would be a far more complex process, and the earliest you'd likely be able to send in your 2020 return would be the end of January 2021. If you want your money in time for this year's holiday season, act before Nov. 21.

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