But millions of low-income people, homeless people and others who aren’t required to file a tax return may not have received the stimulus money, part of the $2.2 trillion CARES Act signed into law at the end of March — and time is running out to get it.
The Internal Revenue Service set an Oct. 15 deadline for non-filers to submit their address or direct deposit information through the “Non-Filers” tool if they want to get up to $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for married couples by the end of the year. There's also an extra $500 payment for each dependent child under the age of 17.
If you filed a 2018 tax return, or plan to file a return in 2019, you do not need to use the tool; the IRS has said doing so could slow down the distribution of the money. The same goes for recipients of Social Security benefits, survivor benefits, Supplemental Security Income or Veterans Affairs benefits.
The non-filers tool is intended for couples who earn less than $24,400 and individuals who earn less than $12,200, as well as those who are homeless. The IRS noted that whether or not individuals have earned an income or work, they’re eligible to receive the payments.
“Anyone who registers by October 15 will receive their payment by the end of the year,” the IRS said.
Until the October deadline, the IRS said it will be conducting an "extensive outreach and education effort" to work with groups that serve "homeless individuals, underserved communities, limited English households and others."
It’s unclear how many individuals are still waiting on the check; more than 15 million Americans on Social Security do not file an annual tax return because their income is so low, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
The cash is intended to blunt the financial pain for Americans caused by the coronavirus pandemic, which brought the economy grinding to a halt in mid-March. In the span of 11 weeks, more than 43 million Americans filed for unemployment, the Labor Department said Thursday.