If you’re among the 9 million Americans who have not yet claimed their federal stimulus checks from the CARES Act, you’ll have until October 15 to do so.
Despite the popularity of the stimulus payments under the CARES Act, the IRS estimates approximately 9 million people have still not registered to receive their payments. This is largely because there was considerable confusion over who was eligible for the payments when the stimulus program was rolled out last spring.
There was a widespread belief at the time that only couples and individuals who had filed their tax returns in 2018 or 2019 were eligible. The subsequent clarification extended stimulus payments to millions who didn’t file a tax return, largely because they were not required to do so.
Included in that group are people whose incomes were below the filing threshold requirements, as well as many retirees who either didn’t file a return or had no tax liability.
“The IRS has made an unprecedented outreach effort to make sure people are aware of their potential eligibility for an Economic Impact Payment this year,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “Millions who don’t normally file a tax return have already registered and received a payment. We are taking this extra step to help Americans who may not know they could be eligible for this payment or don’t know how to register for one. People who aren’t required to file a tax return can quickly register on IRS.gov and still get their money this year.”
Even so, the IRS claims more than 7 million non-filers have already registered for their payments. The effort now is to make a direct appeal to the remaining millions who have yet to file their claims.
If you receive the IRS notification, or if you believe you are entitled to the stimulus payment and haven’t received it so far, you must register no later than October 15. You can do that by going to the IRS website and applying on the Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here tool. It’s completely free to use, and available in both English and Spanish.