CORONAVIRUS

Stimulus checks: how many non-filers may be missing out on payment?

The IRS says as many as nine million people who don't usually file taxes in the US may not have applied for a stimulus check despite being eligible.

Stimulus checks: how many non-filers may be missing payment?
CHIP SOMODEVILLA / AFP

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) says it is contacting millions of people in the United States who may have missed out on a stimulus check despite being eligible for one.

Almost nine million non-filers contacted over stimulus check

According to a press release issued by the IRS this week, the body is sending letters to almost nine million people in the US who aren't required to file an income tax return and haven't received a check, encouraging them to apply for one before it is too late.

As part of the CARES Act, a $2.2tn coronavirus relief bill passed in March, stimulus checks of up to $1,200 have been sent out to qualifying individuals, with married couples receiving up to $2,400. Households have also been able to claim extra credits of $500 for dependents under 17.

Non-filers typically required to apply for stimulus check

After distribution of the checks began in April, most eligible people who filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return in the US received their payment automatically. However, low earners who do not normally submit a tax declaration - known as non-filers - have typically been required to apply for their check.

"The IRS continues to work hard to reach people eligible for these payments," IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said. "These mailings are the latest step by the IRS to reach as many people as possible for these important payments."

Non-filers have until 15 October to register for payment

People who didn’t submit a 2018 or 2019 tax return can register for their stimulus check, officially called an Economic Impact Payment, by visiting the Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here tool on the IRS’ website - but time is running out for them to do so. The deadline for claimants to apply for their check via the Non-Filers platform passes on 15 October 2020.

Non-filers can find out more about applying for an Economic Impact Payment here.

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