If you’re one of the millions of Americans who still hasn’t received a coronavirus stimulus check, you’re running out of time to claim your $1,200. The deadline to register to get an Economic Impact Payment by the end of the year is Saturday.
The federal government began issuing stimulus checks after the CARES Act passed this spring in hopes of supporting consumers (and the economy) through the pandemic. Using direct deposit information already on file from tax season, the IRS sent out more than 89 million payments in the first couple of weeks. By June, it had distributed some $267 billion in 159 million payments.
But certain groups fell through the cracks. The IRS has had a particularly tough time reaching Americans who aren’t typically required to file tax returns, including individuals with little to no income, people experiencing homelessness, incarcerated people and some college students.
In September, the agency mailed out letters to roughly 9 million people reminding them about their stimulus check eligibility and sharing instructions on how to contact the IRS. Non-filers were initially supposed to take action by Oct. 15, but that date got pushed back last month.
Now it’s your last chance. You must enter your payment information using the Non-Filers Tool on IRS.gov by Nov. 21 at 3 p.m. ET in order to receive a stimulus check in 2020.
According to a statement from IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig, this cutoff is for real.
“The IRS is deeply involved in processing and programming that overlaps filing seasons,” he said. “Any further extension beyond November would adversely impact our work on the 2020 and 2021 filing seasons.”
What to do if you haven’t gotten a stimulus check yet
First, review your eligibility. As a reminder, you’re generally qualified to receive a stimulus check if you’re a U.S. citizen or resident alien with a Social Security number and cannot be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s taxes. Your stimulus check amount will be based on your adjusted gross income. If you earn under $75,000 a year, your Economic Impact Payment will be $1,200. If you file jointly and your household earns under $150,000 a year, your Economic Impact Payment will be $2,400. If you have qualifying dependents, you can expect to receive an additional $500 per child.
Next, make sure there’s not already a check on its way. You can use the IRS’s Get My Payment app to see your status and track the progress of your stimulus check. The system refreshes every night.
Finally, use the Non-Filers Tool to request your stimulus check. You’ll need to provide your full name, a mailing address, an email address, birthday and Social Security number. You’ll be asked for your bank account info, Identity Protection Personal Identification Number and driver’s license number, too, if you have them.
What to do if your stimulus check was missing money
Right — there’s also the matter of the $500-per-dependent payment that gets added to the standard $1,200 checks.
If you’re a Social Security, Railroad Retirement or Department of Veteran Affairs benefit recipient who normally doesn’t file a return and already got a stimulus check, you’re subject to the Nov. 21 deadline to register for your spouse or child. You may want to use the Non-Filers Tool to update your data so you (or they) can get the extra stimulus money. Your payment should be issued within two weeks.
However, if you previously used the tool to tell the IRS about your spouse or child, you probably don’t need to do anything — the IRS says it’s “automatically issuing the qualifying child payments.”
What to do if you get a stimulus check text from the IRS
Ignore it. It’s a scam.
The IRS sent out a warning recently about how people are receiving text messages saying, “You have received a direct deposit of $1,200 from COVID-19 TREAS FUND. Further action is required to accept this payment into your account. Continue here to accept this payment.” It includes a phishing link that takes victims to a fake webpage set up to look like the IRS’s Get My Payment app, which then steals their financial information.
The IRS won’t call, text or email you about your stimulus check (or anything else, for that matter). But if you need help, you can call them at 800-919-9835.