Time is running out for anyone who still needs to file for their stimulus payment from the U.S. government.
Most taxpayers automatically received their stimulus checks earlier this year, after Congress passed the CARES Act that included direct payments to help shore up the economy. But as of October, there were more than 12 million eligible Americans who still hadn’t claimed theirs, according to an analysis from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), a nonpartisan research institute.
If you qualified for a stimulus check, but haven’t received one yet, you may need to take an extra step to claim it online through the Internal Revenue Service.
But you have less than a week to do it.
Saturday, Nov. 21, is the last day you can fill out this online form to register for a $1,200 economic impact payment. But it may still take a few weeks to receive your payment.
“This has been a really chaotic year, and the IRS has been bombarded with issues from the start with this thing,” says Nikki Dunn, a certified financial planner who founded the She Talks Finance online community. “I think they need to give people more time, maybe March 2021. But unfortunately, this seems to be the direction they’re taking.”
The original deadline to register for a stimulus check was Oct. 15, but the IRS extended it an additional five weeks to “provide more time for those who have not yet received a payment to register to get their money, including those in low-income and underserved communities,” IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said in a statement.
Those who are eligible but haven’t yet received a stimulus check are mostly low-income families with children, low-income adults without children, and people who have been out of work for a long time, according to the CBPP analysis.
Here’s everything you need to know to claim your stimulus check before the final deadline.
Who Should Use the Non-Filers Tool to Request a Stimulus Check?
You’re eligible for a stimulus check only if you didn’t make enough money in 2018 and 2019 to file any federal income tax returns, and you’re not already claimed as a dependent by someone else.
People who fall under that threshold include individuals who make less than $12,200 a year or reported no income, or married couples filing jointly with a combined income of less than $24,400.
If you’re receiving certain federal benefits, such as Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, Railroad Retirement, or Veterans Affairs Compensation and Pension, but haven’t received a stimulus check, you should also fill out the form.
This tool isn’t for people who already filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return or plan to do so.
How to Claim Your Stimulus Check
The IRS has a non-filer tool on its website that allows you to register for your stimulus check.
Take advantage of this tool as soon as possible, because it won’t be available after 3 p.m. ET on Nov. 21, according to the IRS.
You can choose to receive your payment by direct deposit or check, but you’ll likely receive it faster if you sign up for direct deposit. You can register to get your stimulus payment by providing these important details on the online form:
- Mailing address and email address
- Date of birth
- Social Security number
- Bank account number and routing number, if you have one
- Identity Protection PIN, if you have one (If you don’t remember it, use the “Get an IP PIN” tool).
- Driver’s license or state ID number, if you have one
If you’re claiming a child as a dependent, you’ll need to give their name, Social Security number or Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number, and explain their relationship to you. For each dependent child, you’re eligible to receive an additional $500 (see here for more information).
Two weeks after filing, you can track the status of your payment using the “Get My Payment” tool on the IRS website.
If you have questions about the process, Dunn says contacting the IRS is going to be your best bet.
But if you have trouble getting in touch with the IRS and you’re stuck on anything, Dunn recommends finding somebody in your circle or a professional who’s willing to help.
“Find somebody who can help you or even message people in the finance space online,” Dunn says. “A lot of us are super willing to help and answer questions all day long from people who don’t know where else to go to get sound financial information.”