IRS extends nonfilers deadline to Nov. 21 for 9 million to claim stimulus check. Here’s what to do

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The IRS this month is contacting 9 million Americans who may still be owed economic stimulus money.


Angela Lang/CNET

The IRS on Monday extended the deadline for up to 9 million Americans who didn’t receive a first stimulus check to claim a missing payment. The original Oct. 15 deadline for nonfilers — a group of people who typically don’t file their taxes, including older adults, retirees and SSDI recipients — has been pushed back to 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,” IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said in a statement.

For the most part, the first wave of stimulus checks went out automatically this spring and summer, without the intended recipients having to do anything but meet the qualifications. But a subset of people — including nonfilers — who are eligible for a payment need to take a further step.

The IRS is now in the process of sending letters to people who may be eligible. We’ll tell you all you need to know.

Meanwhile, talks continue to cement a second stimulus check that could be part of a new coronavirus relief package — here’s where it stands in Washington. We’ve also mapped out when a potential second stimulus check could arrive and how much money you might receive. (CNET’s stimulus calculator tool can estimate that.)

Who are the nonfilers eligible to receive a stimulus check?

Among the 9 million the IRS started contacting in September are nonfilers who weren’t required to file a federal tax return for 2018 and 2019 and didn’t know they needed to submit an additional form with the IRS to claim a relief payment. 

How will the IRS contact me about my money?

The IRS started sending the letters — which it calls IRS Notice 1444-A — around Sept. 24 to those who may be eligible. The agency said the letter will be mailed from an IRS address. You can see a copy of the letter here (PDF) in English and Spanish. The IRS cautions that receiving a letter doesn’t guarantee you are eligible for a payment. The letters that have already been sent would not reflect the new due date.


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How do I claim my stimulus payment?

If you weren’t required to file a federal tax return, the letter directs you to use the IRS’ Non-Filers tool, where you can provide some information to claim your payment.

If you were required to file your federal taxes but didn’t, the letter directs you to electronically file your 2019 tax return immediately and then use the IRS’ Get My Payment to check the status of your payment.

What if I miss the new Nov. 21 deadline?

Those using the Non-Filers tool now need to request their payment by Nov. 21. Afterward, the only way to claim a payment will be to file a federal income tax return. If you’ve already filed for 2019 tax season, you would need to wait until 2021 to file this claim.

For more on economic impact payments, we have tips on how best to use your stimulus check, how to avoid being scammed and how young you can be and still get your own stimulus check money
. Again, you can use our stimulus check calculator to get an estimate for how much you might receive.

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