IRS extends deadline for millions of Americans to register for stimulus check

FILE - Economic stimulus checks are prepared for printing at the Philadelphia Financial Center. (Photo by Jeff Fusco/Getty Images)

Millions of Americans who are still awaiting the arrival of their coronavirus stimulus check received extra time this week to register for the one-time payment.

The IRS announced Monday that it was extending the deadline to register for the money – up to $1,200 for one person, and $3,900 for a family of five – to Nov. 21. The cutoff to provide information to the government agency was originally Oct. 15.

“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 news release.

But the extended deadline is only for individuals who don't typically file a tax return, which includes many low-income Americans who have not yet received the economic impact payment.

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Up to 8.7 million individuals who are eligible to receive the payments have yet to receive the money due to incomplete IRS and Treasury Department records, according to a recent report from the Government Accountability Office, Congress' auditing arm.

The watchdog found that while the Treasury Department and IRS have tried to address distribution issues involving the checks, the agencies still “lack updated information on how many eligible recipients have yet to receive these funds."

“The IRS is deeply involved in processing and programming that overlaps filing seasons," Rettig said. "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.”

Individuals who normally do not file a tax return – including those who are homeless, low-income people and others – can register for the payment and must submit their information through the IRS' “non-filers” tool.

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The tool is intended for couples who earn less than $24,400 and individuals who earn less than $12,200, as well as those who are homeless. The IRS noted that whether or not individuals have earned an income or work, they’re eligible to receive the payments.

You can track your stimulus check in the mail by using the U.S. Postal Service's Informed Delivery tool.

"Time is running out for those who don't normally file a tax return to get their payments," Rettig said. "Registration is quick and easy, and we urge everyone to share this information to reach as many people before the deadline."

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