Stimulus Update: IRS Announces Resources to Help Taxpayers Who May Have Unpaid Stimulus Funds

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  • The federal government provided many different types of stimulus relief in 2021.
  • Much of this relief helps people with lower incomes.
  • The IRS has announced new resources that can assist lower-income individuals claim unpaid stimulus funds.

Could these resources help you claim your stimulus money?

In 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act was signed into law by President Joe Biden and provided many important forms of coronavirus relief.

If you didn't receive all of it, you may be able to claim the rest soon. And on Feb. 22, 2022, the IRS released some new information that could help you do that.

Why are some Americans still missing stimulus money?

While a broad swath of Americans was eligible for much of the help made available in the American Rescue Plan Act, low-income Americans got some extra assistance. In addition to $1,400 stimulus checks for adults and dependents as well as an expanded Child Tax Credit that even many higher-earners were eligible for, the Earned Income Tax Credit that's reserved for lower earners was also expanded.

Although much of the money made available last year has been distributed into bank accounts already, some of it hasn't. And anyone who hasn't received all they were due can get the remainder by filing a 2021 tax return.

The only issue is, some of the people who may need the money the most -- and who may have missed out on it -- include individuals whose incomes are too low to file returns under normal circumstances or individuals who aren't fully aware of their rights and obligations when it comes to tax returns and refunds.

If you don't usually make enough money to file a tax return and you didn't use online IRS tools previously made available to provide your information to the agency, you may have received little or none of your stimulus funds at all since the IRS wouldn't have been able to calculate what you were owed or where to send your data.

To rectify the situation, you'll have to submit a tax return this year. And the IRS has now announced some new resources that can help you to do just that.

Check out these new IRS resources to help you claim unclaimed stimulus funds

Some of the resources that could help lower-income taxpayers claim their unpaid stimulus money can be found in Publication 4134, which is better known as the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic List.

This is a list of facilities throughout the United States that will provide free taxpayer services -- including services aimed at helping people resolve problems with the IRS and assisting people who speak English as a second language by providing them with details about their rights and responsibilities.

If your income doesn't exceed 250% of the poverty level and you need some extra help with tax issues related to stimulus checks or any other issues, you can find a clinic in your local area and receive the guidance you need either for free or for a limited fee based on what you can afford.

The IRS also has other existing resources available to help lower income taxpayers find a facility that will help them to prepare their tax returns. This includes the IRS's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs. You may be eligible to take advantage of these services if your earnings are $58,000 or lower; if you speak limited English; or if you are disabled.

You should seriously consider making use of these resources if you didn't receive your full stimulus money in 2021 and need help either filing a return to claim one or resolving problems that have prevented you from getting the money you deserve.

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