This week, the IRS will begin reaching out to the 9 million Americans who have not yet claimed a stimulus check. The economic impact payment was issued to American taxpayers back in April, and while most have gotten the assistance, many never claimed their money. According to a report by CBS News, the agency will now seek those people out.
The IRS will begin by mailing letters to the people who qualified for stimulus checks but never claimed them, for one reason or another. The letters will go out starting on Sept. 24, informing recipients that they are eligible and instructing them on how to get their check. If the mailing address on file for those individuals is wrong, the IRS will have even more work to do in finding them.
The IRS is not taking on this monumental task alone, either. The agency announced the state-by-state data on unclaimed stimulus checks, asking for state governments' help in finding the recipients. CBS MoneyWatch analysis found that the highest percentage of the population with unclaimed checks was in Washington, D.C., where 4.8 percent of residents may be entitled to a long-overdue check.
In terms of the sheer number of people who may have a check coming, California is in the lead, with an estimated 1.2 million people, the data shows. Beneath them is Texas with 796,000 unclaimed checks, then Florida with 567,000 unclaimed checks, and so on.
"We are releasing this state-by-state information so that state and local leaders and organizations can better understand the size of this population in their communities and assist them in claiming these important payments," IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said in a statement on Friday. "Time is running out to claim a payment before the deadline."
These belated checks will be going out as the U.S. Congress continues to debate the long-awaited second stimulus package, which lawmakers all along the political spectrum say is badly needed. Americans are furious that another package has not been passed yet, after months of negotiations leading nowhere. Business Insider has published a breakdown of other nations' economic responses to the coronavirus pandemic, many of which have Americans green with envy.
The IRS has closed its "get my payment" portal on its website, but the site is still full of helpful information for those who think they may be entitled to a stimulus check. Check there for details and next steps.