IRS Deadline Extended to Register for Federal Stimulus Checks

By Stefano Tromba
October 8, 2020

The IRS has extended the deadline for approximately 9 million Americans to register to receive a federal stimulus check.

The extension was pushed to November 21, from the original October 15 deadline to register for’s non-filer tool to receive stimulus money. The extension comes as the IRS attempts to reach millions of individuals who may qualify for the relief payment but have yet to receive it.

Registering with the non-filers tool applies predominantly to those who do not file a federal income tax return. When the IRS distributed the stimulus checks in the Spring, it relied on tax returns to acquire a recipients’ bank account information for direct deposits or mailing addresses for paper checks.

However, lower-income earners are not required to file tax returns. That means they may have been overlooked when checks were first sent out.

“We took this step 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 Monday.

Meanwhile, a second stimulus check may be heading to American households under a scaled-back stimulus bill proposed by Democrats. While the chance of the bill passing is slim, negotiations are ongoing.

Tracking those who are eligible

The first round of stimulus payments offered eligible individuals $1,200, or $2,400 per married couple, as well as $500 per child. The full amount was available for single people earning less than $75,000 and for married couples earning less than $150,000. Payments decreased until the checks were phased out entirely for single taxpayers with income of $99,000 and $198,000 for married couples.

The idea of distributing stimulus payments to America’s taxpayers seemed simple but proved to be complicated. Due to millions of Americans not filing tax returns, the IRS faced obstacles to reach those households.

The IRS has stated the non-filers tool is geared to people earning under $24,400 for married couples. For individuals, it’s $12,200 and they cannot be claimed as a dependent on another person’s tax return.

No change in October 15 tax deadline

On Monday, the IRS reiterated the deadline to file tax returns for those requesting an extension remains October 15.

Due to the pandemic, the IRS delayed the usual tax filing deadline from April 15 to July 15. Taxpayers could request an extension until October 15.

“This additional time into November is solely for those who have not received their checks and don’t normally file a tax return,” the agency said. “For taxpayers who requested an extension of time to file their 2019 tax return, that deadline date remains October 15.”

Rettig said the non-filers tool won’t be available after November 21. “Any further extension beyond November would adversely impact our work on the 2020 and 2021 filing seasons.”

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