Non-Filers and Stimulus Checks: Everything You Need to Know If You Don’t Frequently File Taxes

Even if you don’t generally have to file a federal tax return, you will need to file this year if you’re trying to claim the missing stimulus money.

Angela Lang / CNET

If you never received money from first and second stimulus control you were eligible because, you’ve probably heard that the only way to get that money is file a tax return this year. If you are not normally required to file taxes, however, because you are below the income limit or receive Supplemental Security Income, for example, the IRS considers you a non-filing, and this year, you will need to file taxes before April 15 deadline to receive your missing payment.

Fortunately, the IRS makes it easy for you to claim your missing payment, and the best route is to claim your money using the IRS service. Recovery Refund Credit When you file your 2020 taxes.

Along with more information on how to claim that credit, we will explain why you may miss your second stimulus test (to direct deposit Error, address change, to child dependent was not counted or accidental embargo) and the steps to follow. (In some cases, you will need to request a payment tracking from the IRS.) In addition, many non-filers who received a second stimulus control is likely to automatically get a potential third stimulus control, too – that’s expected to arrive at the end of March for some, assuming a new invoice passes. Here it is how the three checks compare. Also, this is why you want submit your tax form as soon as possible. This story is updated frequently.

I am a non-filing cabinet. How can I claim my missing stimulus money? Is it free to do it?

In the first round of stimulus checks, the IRS sent letters to 9 million non-filers with information on how to file a claim to get the missing stimulus money. The agency instructed non-filers to use the non-filers tool to enter their information by November 21, 2020. But if you missed the deadline, you can still claim your money as Recovery Refund Credit filing a 2020 federal income tax return, even if you generally don’t have to:

When you file a 2020 Form 1040 or 1040SR, you may be eligible for the Recovery Refund Credit. Keep your IRS letter – Notice 1444 Your Economic Impact Payment – with your 2020 tax records. You will need the payment amount in the letter when you apply in 2021.

If you used the IRS Nonfiler Tool, you should have automatically received a second payment. If you didn’t, you can also claim that money as a Recovery Refund Credit.

Apply for your Recovery Refund Credit as part of a federal tax return this year, even if you don’t normally. The IRS began processing 2020 tax returns on February 12 and federal tax returns are due April 15 (this could change, however) — but you can file a tax extension. (In 2020, the IRS extended the deadline until July 15 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.)

For starters, most non-filers can use the IRS Free File tool (if you make less than $ 72,000 a year, you can use it). As the name suggests, this tool allows you to get a free federal tax return and in some cases a free state return as well. It is available to use now.

Go to the Free File site and select Choose an IRS Free File Offer to see all the options available, including companies such as TaxSlayer and TurboTax. These programs should walk you through how to file your return and the 1040 Recovery Refund Credit Form or Form 1040-SR, all with no costs or fees.

Are non-filers eligible to get all the stimulus checks that were approved?

In most cases, yes. Most non-filers fall below the income limits stipulated by each stimulus package and would be eligible for the full amount each round. $ 1,200 per person under the CARES 2020 Act passed in March 2020, and $ 600 per person under the December 2020 stimulus bill. Find the check the full eligibility rules for each stimulus here.

If you receive SSI or SSDI, you should have received at least a portion of both stimulus checks automatically – the IRS obtained the names of Social Security recipients and SSI recipients from the Social Security Administration in the spring and made the payments to them automatically, according to Janet Holtzblatt, a senior fellow at the Urban-Brookings Center for Fiscal Policy.

However, if any of your checks (or a portion of any of them) are missing, you will need to follow the additional steps below.


The IRS began processing tax returns on February 12.

Angela Lang / CNET

What is the usual protocol during tax season for non-filers? What is different?

When it comes to stimulus checks, the IRS refers to people who did not have to file taxes in 2018 or 2019 as non-filers. This group includes:

  • People who are part of the SSI or SSDI programs
  • Single people under 65 with an income of less than $ 12,200
  • Married persons under 65 with income less than $ 24,400
  • Single people age 65 and over with income less than $ 13,850
  • Married persons age 65 or older with an income of less than $ 27,000
  • Retirement Beneficiaries for Veterans and Railroad

While young adults ages 17-24 claimed as dependents on someone else’s taxes they do not have to file taxes, they are not eligible for a first or second stimulus check due to the rules set forth in the CARES Act and the December stimulus bill. (This could change in a third check.) Find out more about when you can receive your own stimulus check here.

Generally, during tax season, if you are in any of the above groups, you do not have to file a federal tax return. However, if you received tax credits or health care subsidies, you will need to apply to continue to receive them. You can also file a request to recover taxes withheld from your wages or to claim certain refundable tax credits. That’s what you’ll have to do this year to claim your missing stimulus money.

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What is a recovery refund credit? Will the size of my check change?

A recovery refund credit is a tax credit that will increase the amount of your tax refund or decrease the amount of taxes you owe, depending on the amount of stimulus funds that the IRS still owes you.

File the missing money from the first and / or second stimulus on your 2020 Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR. The tax return instructions include a worksheet for calculating the amount of any Recovery Refund Credit for which is eligible, according to the IRS. However, this worksheet requires you to know the amounts of your stimulus payments. CNET stimulus check calculators for the second Y first payments can provide an estimate.

Find out the official IRS total for you in two ways:

  • IRS Letters: Should have received the IRS Notice 1444 for the first stimulus payment, and you should receive Warning 1444-B for the second. Keep those letters, because you will need the information for the Recovery Refund Credit worksheet or any tax preparation software you use. If you I lost the lyrics, this is what you should do.
  • Your online tax account: In the next few weeks, if you have an account at, you will be able to log in and view the amounts of the stimulus payments assigned to you.

How long will it take to receive my stimulus payment after applying for a recovery refund credit?

Since the IRS began processing 2020 tax returns on February 12, the government will likely begin sending recovery refund credit payments soon after, depending on how early you apply (here are some possible dates). The IRS recommends e-filing and entering your direct deposit information as soon as possible to expedite your payment.

If you request a recovery refund credit with the IRS Free File tool, but do not give the IRS your banking information, your money will arrive in a paper check in the mail. Just know that this option will take longer. Give the IRS your Direct deposit information can also help you get your next stimulus check faster..

After submitting the application, use the IRS Where is my refund? tool to track your payment.

For more information, here is what we know so far how much money you could get on a third stimulus check, Y when the IRS could send the next payment.

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