THE IRS won’t be bringing back a tool credited with helping millions of low-income Americans get their $1,400 of Covid money.
Early on in the coronavirus pandemic, the IRS created a simple online form that allowed low-income people who were not usually required to file tax returns to provide their contact information to the agency, CNN reported.
Those who used the non-filer tool before it went offline, have been – and would continue to – receive their stimulus payments without having filed their 2020 tax returns.
But those who haven’t already used the tool were now out of luck.
The tool has remained offline since November, even after Congress approved two more rounds of stimulus payments.
Those who had missed out must file a 2020 tax return in order to get the money they’re owed from the first two stimulus checks, along with the third and latest one.
An IRS spokesman told CNN on Thursday that there were no plans to bring back the tool.
However, he encouraged people to file returns so they can claim all that they are eligible for.
In addition to the cash, filing a return ensured that families may get other benefits they qualified for – such as the Earned Income Tax Credit or the now expanded child tax credit.
This could be a challenging process for someone who had filed anything in years.
"The stakes are high with billions of federal dollars not reaching low-income people in California and across the country,” said Aparna Ramesh, senior research manager at the California Policy Lab at UC Berkeley, in a statement.
“The IRS reposting its online non-filers tool immediately would be a good first step.”
There's current pressure building in Congress to issue a fourth stimulus check soon.
Although a majority of the third stimulus check went to Americans through direct deposit, the IRS warns that those who received checks in the mail – likely due to the agency not having your direct deposit information – have a year to cash them.
The same goes for any US Treasury check. If you miss that deadline, you can request the IRS send out a new one for the expired check.
Over 13.5 million more dependents qualify for the third stimulus check this time around as compared to the first two.
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