Among those who need to pay particular attention to this coronavirus money deadline are some college students, families who get government benefits and homeless individuals.
If you didn't get a COVID-19 economic relief payment or didn't get all to which you were entitled, you can still apply for the financial help this year.
But act soon. Really soon.
The deadline to let the Internal Revenue Service know you're due some of the relief money is 3 p.m. this coming Saturday, Nov. 21.
Note not only the date but also the time. That's 3 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, not your local time if you live in a more westerly locale.
Miss it and you'll have to wait until 2021 for the relief money.
Many missing out on money: This spring, the IRS began sending out these payments, authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, to individuals who filed tax returns for the 2018 or 2019 tax years.
Eligible single taxpayers received up to $1,200 payment. Married couples who filed a joint return in one of those tax years got an economic impact payment (EIP) of up to $2,400. And all who had qualifying dependents younger than 17 received $500 extra per child.
But that COVID-19 EIP distribution effort didn't cover everyone who was due money. So the IRS sent out letters to millions of folks who didn't file returns in the qualifying years but whom the agency believed, via information from its database and other government resources, are eligible for some of the money.
Those letter recipients were encouraged to go to the IRS website's special Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here tool and register so that they can get any coronavirus money they're due.
You can use the non-filer EIP online option if your annual income is less than $24,400 if you're married or less than $12,200 and you're single and can't be claimed as a dependent by someone else.
To get your COVID-19 relief money as quickly as possible, the online tool lets you enter your direct deposit information. If you don't have a bank account, your stimulus money will be sent as a U.S. Treasury check.
Three overlooked recipient groups: Some of the folks who the letters did act. But not all.
So the IRS is again urging folks to apply for a possible missing COVID-19 EIP.
Anyone who didn't get any of the COVID-19 economic impact payment (EIP) relief needs to act quickly. But the IRS also is emphasizing three types of individuals who are among those overlooked in its COVID cash distribution effort:
- Certain college students,
- Families receiving federal benefits and
- Homeless individuals.
Here's a look at what folks in each of these possible undelivered EIP areas need to do by 3 p.m. on Nov. 21.
Self-supporting college students: Any college student who's already making their own way in the world should register using the non-filers tool for an EIP.
This applies to self-supporting students who are not required to file a tax return because they didn't make the filing earnings threshold.
However, students who are still dependent, both financially and for tax purposes, on their parents don't qualify.
Then there are students who gradated college this year and didn't get a COVID-19 stimulus check because they were claimed as a dependent in an earlier tax year by their parents or someone else.
In this case, you'll need to file a tax a 2020 tax return next year to find out whether you're able to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit, which is the official tax code name of the coronavirus stimulus.
Federal beneficiaries: The IRS did deliver COVID-19 economic relief payments to individuals who are getting Social Security and Veterans benefits.
However, in some of those cases, the stimulus recipients also have dependent children. That wasn't taken into account when the IRS issued their EIPs because these folks didn't file a tax return that would have noted the dependents.
So these individuals need to use the non-filer tool to let the IRS know that they are eligible for the $500 per qualifying child additional stimulus.
The IRS previously alerted these families to file for the extra payment amount by Sept. 30. However, the IRS subsequently extended the non-filer registration option to Nov. 21
Again, this applies to parents or guardians who receive Social Security retirement, survivor or disability benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Railroad Retirement benefits or Veterans Affairs Compensation and Pension (C&P) benefits and didn't file a tax return in 2018 or 2019.
Homeless also eligible: If you are homeless, the COVID-19 economic relief payment could be especially welcome. But even if you're eligible, when you don't have a permanent residence or bank account, the IRS can't deliver the coronavirus money.
The non-filer tool can help.
Homeless individuals may be eligible for the relief payment if they:
- Are a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or qualifying resident alien,
- Have a work-eligible Social Security number and
- Cannot be claimed as a dependent of another taxpayer
Note that all three circumstances must be met.
If they are, these folks then need the following information to use the non-filer tool:
- Name, as it appears on Social Security card, for self and spouse, if they are eligible.
- A work-eligible SSN for self and spouse, if they are eligible.
- A name, relationship and SSN or Adoption Tax Identification Number for each qualifying child.
- An email address to create an account to use the Non-Filers tool.
- A mailing address where they can receive the payment and a confirmation letter, which the IRS will mail within 15 days after issuing their payment.
- Banking information, including routing and account numbers, if they want their payment via direct deposit. The IRS will mail a payment if a person doesn't give direct deposit information.
- An Identity Protection Personal Identification Number, if the IRS sent one in the past. If a person lost it, they can use the Get an IP PIN tool at IRS.gov to retrieve their number
More info, tracking your EIP and applying later: In all these cases, if you need more information on using the non-filer tool, the IRS created a special guide.
IRS Publication 5420, per its very thorough "A Step-by-Step Guide to Using the IRS Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here Tool to Get an Economic Impact Payment" title, will walk you through the registration process, complete with examples and illustrations.
Once you've applied for an EIP — again by 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 21 — you can check the status of your money at the IRS' Get My Payment web page. I know you're impatient, but note that you must wait two weeks after you've applied for an EIP before using this online tracking tool.
And if you somehow miss this weekend's deadline, you will get a second EIP chance in 2021.
That's when you can claim the COVID-19 money as a tax credit — the Recovery Rebate Credit mentioned in the college student section — when you file a 2020 federal income tax return.
But why wait months for much-needed money? Use the economic impact money non-filer tool today. Or at least by 3 p.m. on Nov. 21.
|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.