The Internal Revenue Service plans to mail out letters to roughly 9 million Americans who typically don’t file federal income tax returns who may be eligible for, but have not registered to claim, an Economic Impact Payment.
The letters will urge recipients to register at IRS.gov by Oct. 15 in order to receive their payment by the end of the year. Individuals can receive up to $1,200, and married couples can receive up to $2,400. People with qualifying children under age 17 at the end of 2019 can get up to an additional $500 for each qualifying child.
Letters are being sent to people who haven’t filed a return for either 2018 or 2019. Based on an internal analysis, these are people who don’t typically have a tax return filing requirement because they appear to have very low incomes, based on Forms W-2, 1099s, and other third-party statements available to the IRS. But many in this group are still eligible to receive an Economic Impact Payment.
Officially known as IRS Notice 1444-A, the letter is written in English and Spanish and includes information on eligibility criteria and how eligible recipients can claim an Economic Impact Payment on IRS.gov. The mailing, which will begin around Sept. 24, will be delivered from an IRS address. To help address fraud concerns, a copy of the letter is available on IRS.gov.
The IRS reminds recipients that receiving a letter is not a guarantee of eligibility for an Economic Impact Payment. An individual is likely eligible if he or she is a U.S. citizen or resident alien; has a work-eligible Social Security number, and can’t be claimed as dependent on someone else’s federal income tax return. However, there can be a variety of situations that could affect an individual’s eligibility. For more information on eligibility requirements, recipients should read the Economic Impact Payment eligibility FAQs on IRS.gov.
The registration deadline for non-filers to claim an Economic Impact Payment through the Non-Filers tool is Oct. 15, 2020. People can also wait until next year and claim it as a credit on their 2020 federal income tax return by filling in 2021.
The IRS emphasizes that anyone required to file either a 2018 or 2019 tax return should file the tax return and not use the Non-Filers tool.