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IRS online tool helps non-filers apply for COVID-19 payments

IRS electronic tax filing

The Internal Revenue Service is beginning the process of sending out COVID-19 economic relief payments. Americans who filed a tax return in 2018 or 2019, as well as folks who got Social Security retirement or disability payments or Railroad Retirement benefits, don't have to do anything.

The IRS will use the tax return or other government payment information on file to send the money, which could be a maximum of $1,200 per individual or $2,400 for married couples who file jointly, to these eligible recipients.

Some people, however, don’t fall into these already on-record categories. The most notable group here is low-income workers who do not make enough money to require that they file a Form 1040.

But these folks could benefit greatly from the added cash. And the IRS now has an online tool to help them get their portion of the $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act relief.

COVID payment filing for non-filers: The new Non-Filer Payment tool is designed for use by single filers who in 2019 made less than $12,200 and married couples who earned less than $24,400 and did not or do not plan to file a tax return.

A quick filing note. Some folks who don't have to file do so anyway for other reasons, usually to get refunds of taxes that were withheld or to claim a tax credit for which they qualify. If you are one of these folks who has or will file even though your income is within the ranges established for the non-filers payment tool, do not use it. The IRS has your information and should sent you your COVID-19 payments automatically.

If, however, you do need to get your information to the IRS, go to the special web filing tool as soon as possible.

And a bit of bad news for students who might fall into these earnings limits.

If someone else claimed you on their tax return, you will not be eligible for the Economic Impact Payment and cannot use the Non-Filer tool. Sorry, but there may be some future relief for you (or your family) thanks to a bill pending in Congress to expand payments to college students (and others), and which might become part of future COVID-19 legislation.

Before you start: But back to now and the non-filer online form. As with all interactions with Uncle Sam's tax collector, you'll need some information handy before you start.

In the case of the non-filer online tool, you'll have to provide your:

  • Full name, current mailing address and an email address
  • Date of birth and valid Social Security number
  • Bank account number, type and routing number, if you have one and want your payment directly deposited. (If you don't have a bank account, your COVID-19 payment will be mailed to the address on the form.)
  • Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (IP PIN) you received from the IRS earlier this year, if you have one
  • Driver’s license or state-issued ID, if you have one
  • For each qualifying child: name, Social Security number or Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number and their relationship to you or your spouse

Got all that? Good. Then on to the tool.

Entering your info: After an introduction page again spelling out who should and should not use it, the special web page will ask you to create an account.

This account creation process was designed for the IRS by Intuit, maker of TurboTax and a member of the Free File Alliance that works with IRS' Free File online tax return preparation and e-filing option. In this case, it's based on the fillable forms option, which takes basic tax returns and makes then accessible to be filled out via computer and then electronically filed.

Privacy alert: If you're worried about what Uncle Sam and/or the tax software manufacturer will do with your data, check out the new web page's privacy statement.

Once you're satisfied and/or comfortable with the process, then you'll enter your email address, a user name, password and an option phone number.

Neither the IRS nor Intuit will call you, according to the registration instructions. The phone number will be used, according to the page, only to help recover your account if you forget your password.

But there's no choice as far as an email. You must have one to eventually e-file your return.

Here's a quick email hint. After you're done with this account creation page, go to your email (in a new browser window) and find the message from the IRS. It will have a link asking you to verify the email account. Do that. Your email must be verified before you can, a little later in the process, e-file your return.

Personally, I'm always a little leery about leaving an online application for fear of not getting back in. By verifying it first (again in a separate browser window), you won't have to leave the filing process when you get to the end of form and it tells you that your email must be verified. And you (OK, I) also will be confident that the actual return e-filing will be completed without a hitch.

Short COVID tax form: As for the return itself, it's pretty basic. Below are some screen shots.

Nonfiler return form1aaaaNonfiler return form2aa Nonfiler return form3a

The image above is actually three screen shots. To get a bigger, better look at each segment, click on them (1) near the top, (2) in the area where you see lines to enter dependents' information and (3) near the end.

The key area is in the middle section, where it asks for your bank information (routing number and specific account number) and whether it's a checking or savings account. This info will let the IRS directly deposit your COVID-19 relief payment.

If you don't have a bank account, the payment will be sent to the address you've entered via U.S. mail.

Again, it's pretty basic, self-explanatory and quick for most folks to complete.

E-filing the form: Then it's on to Step 2, the actual electronic filing of the form.

This is where things might get a bit uncomfortable, especially for folks who've not filed a tax return for a while. In fact, this page could be quite intimidating.

The online non-filer tool asks for info from your 2018 tax return, like your adjusted gross income (AGI), or a signature Personal Identification Number (PIN).

Don't freak out. If you didn't file a return for the 2018 tax year, enter 0 (zero) in the "Taxpayer" AGI space. If you're filling out this form jointly with your spouse and he or she didn't file a return last year either, also enter zero in the "Spouse" AGI space.

Nonfiler agi info

E-signing, e-filing your return: Next, you'll have to sign your return electronically. Start by entering the date, cell number if you have one, and a five-digit PIN of your choosing (other than 00000 or 12345) for both you and, if you're jointly filing, your spouse.

You'll also have to enter your (and spouse's) birth date(s) and, if you (and spouse) have one, your state issued driver's license or ID card number.

Then to the final step. Continue to e-file.

I must admit that I didn't go there, as I have filed in the last two years so I don't meet the non-filer tool's requisite info. Also, I kept getting a "we're updating the system message" and I didn't want to jam it up even more with an invalid filing.

But if it works like my software filing program, you'll get an onscreen message that your form has been filed. The non-filer tool also says it will send you a verification and filing status update to the email your provided.

More online COVID payment help on the way: The Non-Filer tool that went live today is just the first of online options to help everyone who qualifies get their COVID-19 relief payments.

The IRS says it is building a second new tool to help everyone check on the status of their payments. It should be available for use by April 17. This option, dubbed Get My Payment, will provide people with the status of their payment, including the date their payment is scheduled to be deposited into their bank account or mailed to them.

An additional feature on Get My Payment will allow eligible people a chance to provide their bank account information so they can receive their payment more quickly rather than waiting for a paper check.

One not so welcome note here, however, is that the IRS say this feature will not be available if your COVID payment has already has been scheduled for delivery via an alternate method, i.e., snail mail. Bummer.

But I'd still check it out just in case you beat the IRS to the issuance of your payment.

 

Coronavirus Caveat & More Information
In 2020, we're all dealing with extraordinary circumstances,
both in our daily lives and when it comes to our taxes.
The COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to reduce its transmission
and protect ourselves and our families means that,
for the most part, we're focusing on just getting through these trying days.

But life as we knew it before the coronavirus will return,
along with our mundane tax matters.
Here's hoping that happens soon!
In the meantime, you can find more on the virus and its effects on our taxes
by clicking Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Taxes.

 

You also might find these items of interest:

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Comments

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Kay Bell

Did you type it in? Maybe try using the calendar icon next to that line.

jason jones

I am trying to use the non filer form and it will not allow me to enter my birthdate so there for it will not let me file the form., any one else have this problem and how was it solved

Stephanie

Hello, I have an issue that I need help with because I don't know how to proceed from here. I made a huge mistake and because of this, I still have not received my EIP which I definitely qualify for. I have been on SSDI with Direct Deposit since 2007 and I am not required to file a tax return. I was supposed to receive my stimulas check automatically and I should have done nothing. My $1200 stimulas payment was supposed to be generated using my previous years information taken from my SSA-1099. I also do not have any qualifying dependents. Every time I checked the status of my payment on the IRS website, I continuously received the same message, "Payment Status Not Available." I began to get very anxious and chose to go to the non filers tool to enter my information, assuming it might help the process. However, I was aware that I was not supposed to use that site. But I did anyway and it made my situation worse. After I entered my information on the non filers tool, I received an email from the IRS, using an automated system that was not generated for a response. My application was rejected bc I did not enter an Identity Protection Pin number, which I never received. About 5 years ago, I was a victim of Identity Theft and I was on SSDI at the time. However, at that time, I filed a tax return because I was eligible to receive an education tax credit because I was a college student. They caught the Identity Theft right away bc I haven't worked or filed a tax return since 2005. And again, I only filed a tax return about 5 years ago bc I was eligible for the education tax credit. If it wasn't for that, I would never have filed because I was not working and was on SSDI. Anyway, the IRS told me that bc I was a victim of Identity Theft, they would send me an ID pin that I would need to use to file my tax return. After months of a long process, I finally received my education tax credit. I was told that I would be mailed a new ID PIN every year to use to file my income taxes. However, I never filed a tax return again. Eventually, they stopped mailing me an ID pin, which is why I don't have one now. I don't know how to correct my mistake because again, I wasn't supposed to use the non filers tool because I am on SSDI with Direct Deposit and I have not filed a tax return since then and I will not be filing a tax return ever again in the future as I am on permanent disability. Will the IRS be able to figure out my mistake on their own if I do nothing or is there something I need to do to correct this. I would like to receive my stimulas check. Any advice of how I should proceed from here would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you

Juan F. Rincon Jr

Hi, just wanted to know if theres any other alternatives in retrievimg my ip pin because i am unable to meet the loan , credit card scenario.. My return was rejected and i dont kno how else to go about getting my ip pin. Any suggestions, please....

laura france

my granson gets ssi he is 16 im his payee how does he get the stimules money ive tried dont know how to do it

danielle trussell

hi can someone please get back to me about the non filres bcuz I have finished it then it says rejected I think I fix it resend and again rejected how or where do I get help

Kay Bell

Hey, Beth. Glad you got your IRS refund more quickly via the H&R Block debit card service. Here's what National Taxpayer Advocate Erin Collins says, via a recent blog post at https://taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov/news/NTA_Blog_What_Taxpayers_Can_Do_to_Speed_Up_Economic_Impact_Payments?category=Tax%20News, about how such refund advances will affect your COVID-19 stimulus payment:

"When a taxpayer purchases a RAL or RAC, a virtual bank account is established solely for purposes of receiving the refund and facilitating the transaction. The account does not continue to exist and therefore Economic Impact Payments delivered to virtual accounts by direct deposit would not reach the intended recipient.

Tax returns involving a RAL or a RAC carry an electronic indicator. Therefore, the IRS can identify these taxpayers and ensure Economic Impact Payments are not delivered to the virtual accounts that were used in return filing. In many cases, these returns also transmit the underlying bank account information of the taxpayer, and the IRS may issue the Economic Impact Payment by direct deposit where possible. Where the taxpayer’s underlying bank account information is not provided, the IRS will issue the Economic Impact Payment by mail."

Thanks for reading. I hope this helps. Kay

Beth

Hello I used the non filers option thinking that it was the IRS portal to get my direct deposite info to the IRS but I did file for this last year and had the H and R block emerald card.i just seen that the "get ny payment " option is gonna be up the 17th.will the mess me up from receiving my check ? Please please help

Kay Bell

I would go to the Get My Payment tool that the IRS should have online next week and enter my bank account info there so you can, hopefully, get your COVID-19 relief payment more quickly.

Kay Bell

Did you include any bank info on your stimulus-prompted filing? If not, you might want to look for the Get My Payment tool that the IRS should have online next week. There you can add bank account info to get your COVID-19 relief payment more quickly.

Ted

I am a senior receiving social security and I filed a 2019 tax return that had a zero balance
The same as last year. The problem is I did not have to fill in the bank information.
What should I do

Aaron

I don't uassly file taxes , but I did file this year for zero income because was told to so I can receive stimulus check . This was before the non filers form came out. Is this ok or will it impact me not getting the check? Please help

Kay Bell

Nikki, were you able to file without getting the verification email? If not, I'd give it a day or so. It looks like this new online tools has been very popular and the IRS just might not be able to catch up. Kay

Nikki Garcia

I've been through this process but I am not receiving the verification email (requested a few times) and unable to get anyone on the phone.... not sure what to do?

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