The Internal Revenue Service today announced that it’s extending the deadline to claim an Economic Impact Payment by five weeks to help individuals who haven’t yet received a stimulus payment and don’t normally file a tax return. The new deadline is November 21, pushed back from October 15.
Non-filers can enter their payment information using the Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here tool on the IRS web site to register a claim.
The IRS set up the tool for nonfilers to claim a stimulus payment in the spring, and nearly 7 million people have used it so far. Still an estimated 9 million more Americans appear to be eligible for stimulus payments of $1,200 per adult and $500 per child, authorized under the coronavirus relief CARES Act. They’re mostly low-income folks who didn’t file a 2018 or 2019 tax return, people with incomes typically below $24,400 for married couples, and $12,200 for singles. Nearly 2 million Californians and nearly 800,000 Texans are in the mix: here’s a state-by-state breakdown.
The IRS sent out reminder letters, IRS Notice 1444-A, just last month, saying “You may need to act to claim your payment” and giving the October 15 deadline. The IRS tracked folks down using addresses from income reporting Forms W-2s and 1099s.
If you get a letter, that doesn’t mean you automatically qualify. You have to be a U.S. citizen or resident alien, have a work-eligible Social Security number and can’t be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return. You’ll get the payment quicker if you include direct deposit information when you register. Alternatively, you can wait until next year and claim the stimulus payment as a credit on your 2020 federal income tax return that you file in early 2021.
If you’re eligible to receive the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Child Tax Credit, you can’t use the non-filer tool. Instead, you must file a regular tax return for 2019 as soon as possible, and the IRS will use that information to calculate your stimulus payment, if one is due.
Why the November 21 cutoff? The 2021 filing season is looming! “The IRS is deeply involved in processing and programming that overlaps filing seasons. Any further extension beyond November would adversely impact our work on the 2020 and 2021 filing seasons,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig.
When can you expect the payment to arrive? Two weeks after you register using the EIP tool, you can track the status of your payment using the IRS Get My Payment tool.
Act now: The IRS says it will take down the Economic Impact Payment tool after November 21.
If it seems like due dates keep changing this year, they have been. The typical April 15 due date for 1040 individual income tax returns moved to July 15, as did the April 15 and June 15 due dates for estimated tax payments.
Be careful: The October 15 due date for filing on extension is not changing. So if you didn’t file your 2019 tax return by July 15, and you requested an extension of time, that deadline remains October 15.