The IRS has officially extended the deadline to register for the first stimulus check to Nov. 21, 2020. The agency has been trying to reach all eligible Americans for the financial aid payments, but millions are still unclaimed. According to a report by Forbes, they just moved the deadline back by five weeks.
The IRS had previously set a deadline of Oct. 15, 2020, for the remaining stimulus checks to be claimed. These late payments are primarily for "non-filers" — Americans who are eligible for stimulus checks but are not required to file tax returns every year, for one reason or another. The IRS set up a special page on their website where non-filers can enter their payment information to receive their stimulus check, though notifying people that they are eligible has proven to be a challenge. The U.S. government is now rushing to get this money into the right hands.
There is no cost for non-filers to use the IRS' website to claim their stimulus check. It provides several options so that they can receive their payment in their preferred method — a paper check by mail, direct deposit or even a new "EIP card" — a debit card with the stimulus check on it that can be used like cash, deposited into a bank account or withdrawn from an ATM.
The IRS notes that direct deposit is the fastest and most efficient way to disburse these funds. Any non-filer who does not have access to the internet, or cannot use the online non-filer tool for some other reason is allowed to file a 2019 tax return even if they receive non-taxable income or do not make enough money to normally file a tax return. This way, the IRS will still get their information and will be able to issue a check.
"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," said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. "The IRS is deeply involved in processing and programming that overlaps filing seasons. Any further extension beyond November would adversely impact our work on the 2020 and 2021 filing seasons. The Non-filers portal has been available since the spring and has been used successfully by many millions of Americans."
Most eligible Americans got their stimulus check between April and May, after the U.S. Congress passed the measure in March of 2020. The check is worth up to $1,200 per person based on income. An American taxpayer who had an annual gross income of $75,000 or less on their last tax filing would have gotten the full amount, and the check would have decreased incrementally from there. Anyone who made $99,000 or less on their last tax return would have gotten nothing.