Still don’t have your stimulus check? You have some extra time.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has extended the deadline to register for your stimulus check to November 21, 2020. This new date gives you an additional five weeks past the previous October 15, 2020, deadline.
To register for your payment, simply click over to the IRS website and use the Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here tool. There is no cost to register, and you should access the tool directly through irs.gov. You can speed up your check’s arrival by choosing to receive it by direct deposit; if you don’t opt for direct deposit, you’ll get a paper check by mail.
If you cannot use the tool or don’t have adequate access to the internet, you can file a federal income tax return for 2019 with the IRS even if you receive non-taxable income or do not make enough money to normally have to file a tax return. The IRS encourages taxpayers to file electronically through their tax preparer, tax software provider, or IRS Free File.
But file soon: the tool will not be available after Nov. 21.
“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.”
The IRS is also mailing letters to roughly nine million Americans who have been identified as potential check recipients but did not have a requirement to file a tax return in 2018 or 2019 because of their income levels. The information is based on an internal analysis of forms, like Forms W-2, 1099s, and other third-party statements sent to the IRS each year but have not been matched with tax returns. Typically, this means those Americans who have an annual income of $24,400 or less for married couples and $12,200 or less for single folks.
The letters are officially known as IRS Notice 1444-A and will be sent out in English and Spanish. The letter advises non-filers that they should register at IRS.gov by the deadline to receive a check by the end of the year. If you miss the date, you will have to wait until next year and claim the credit on your 2020 federal income tax return (the one that you’ll file in 2021) to receive a check.
“Time is running out for those who don’t normally file a tax return to get their payments,” Rettig added. “Registration is quick and easy, and we urge everyone to share this information to reach as many people before the deadline.”
The extension for registering for a stimulus check DOES NOT change the deadline to file your federal income tax return on extension. That remains October 15, 2020, the same deadline to file a federal income tax return on extension in any normal year.
The IRS normally gives you six months from the due date to get your tax return in if you file for an extension. This year, because of COVID, the due date was July 15, not April 15. But the request for extension starts ticking from the original due date (that’s April 15) and not the revised due date (that’s July 15). That means that all individuals must file their federal income tax returns on extension on or before October 15 even if you made the request to extend in July.