Up to 9 Million People Haven't Claimed Stimulus Checks, IRS Says

As discussion continues around an additional stimulus relief package, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is trying to clear up issues stemming from the first package, the CARES Act. According to the agency, up to 9 million people still haven't received their first direct payment, and time is running out for them to claim it.

In an update shared to its website Tuesday, the IRS announced that later this month, it will begin mailing letters to approximately 9 million Americans who may be eligible to get an Economic Impact Payment but have not yet registered to claim the payment. The IRS explained that these letters are targeting those Americans who do not typically file taxes and therefore did not file a return for either 2018 or 2019, the years for which economic impact payments were based. Many of these people are eligible for a stimulus check.

"The IRS has made an unprecedented outreach effort to make sure people are aware of their potential eligibility for an Economic Impact Payment this year," IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said. "Millions who don't normally file a tax return have already registered and received a payment. We are taking this extra step to help Americans who may not know they could be eligible for this payment or don't know how to register for one. People who aren't required to file a tax return can quickly register on IRS.gov and still get their money this year."

Those who receive this letter are being encouraged to register for their potential payment by the registration deadline of Oct. 15. To register, recipients can use the Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here tool, which is available on the IRS website. This tool is free and is available in both English and Spanish. Some personal information will be required to register for a payment. Rettig said that "people who normally don't file a tax return shouldn't wait to see if they receive one of these letters. They can review the guidelines and register now if they're eligible." Those utilizing this tool can select to receive their payment via direct deposit, which is faster than receiving a physical check sent in the mail.

The IRS said that these letters are expected to begin being mailed on Sept. 24 and will be delivered from an IRS address. In an effort to circumvent any fraud, the agency has released a copy of the letter, viewable by clicking here, so that recipients can more easily distinguish it from a potentially fraudulent letter. The IRS also notes that “receiving a letter is not a guarantee of eligibility for an Economic Impact Payment.”