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If you don’t file tax returns, the IRS could contact you about a $1,200 stimulus check – CNET


The IRS this month will contact 9 million Americans who may still be owed stimulus money.

Angela Lang/CNET

This week, the IRS will start contacting 9 million people who may qualify for a stimulus check authorized under CARES Act but haven’t received it yet. Included in the group are nonfilers who weren’t required to file a federal tax return over the past two years but didn’t know they needed to complete an IRS online form to claim their money.

The IRS has sent at least 160 million payments as of August through direct deposits, mailed checks and prepaid EIP debit cards and is working to contact those who may still be owed a payment, including some people with dependents who are missing portions of their check and have until Sept. 30 to file for it.

For the 9 million people who may still be owned relief money, the IRS is mailing instructions starting this week in notification letters. We’ll tell you how to get started and what you need to know.

The payment is separate from the second stimulus check currently being discussed in Washington as part of a larger new coronavirus relief package. Here’s when a potential second stimulus check could arrive for qualifying Americans and how much money you might receive. You can also consult CNET’s stimulus calculator tool for an estimate, and for a broader view, check out the six most important things to know about stimulus payments.

What’s the deadline to request an initial payment?

Those using the Non-Filers tool need to request their payment by Oct. 15. Afterward, the only way to claim a payment will be to file a federal income tax return.

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How will the IRS contact you?

The IRS will start 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.

How do you claim your 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.

For more on economic impact payments 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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