Earlier this week, the Internal Revenue Service announced that nearly two million more coronavirus stimulus checks have been disbursed as part of the tenth batch of payments under President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan.
With this long-awaited new tranche, the total number of checks sent out to date now sits at one hundred sixty-seven million, boasting a hefty value of $391 billion.
While most eligible Americans have already gotten their hands on the stimulus that they are entitled to—still, know that roughly 13 percent of those who qualify for the checks are left on the sidelines.
Be aware that similar to previous recent batches, a large number of the new payments—nearly one million of them—were sent out to recent tax filers who did not have the necessary information, such as an address and bank account numbers, on file at the IRS.
“Although payments are automatic for most people, the IRS continues to urge people who don’t normally file a tax return and haven’t received Economic Impact Payments to file a 2020 tax return to get all the benefits they’re entitled to under the law, including tax credits such as the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit, the Child Tax Credit, and the Earned Income Tax Credit,” the IRS stated.
“Filing a 2020 tax return will also assist the IRS in determining whether someone is eligible for an advance payment of the 2021 Child Tax Credit, which will begin to be disbursed this summer,” the agency added.
Also, do take note that the May 17 Tax Day deadline is already in the rear-view mirror—but the IRS still says that people can, in fact, claim their missing stimulus. All they have to do is apply for an extension and file by the October 15 deadline. Keep in mind, however, that taxpayers are still responsible for interest and penalties that could continue to accrue on any tax owed to the IRS.
After applying for an extension, one can also take advantage of the Recovery Rebate Credit that has been added to all returns this tax season, making it possible to claim stimulus funds from the first two rounds. “If you didn’t get any payments or got less than the full amounts, you may qualify for the Recovery Rebate Credit and must file a 2020 tax return to claim the credit even if you don’t normally file,” the IRS website says.
For those individuals missing checks from this current third round, they should request an IRS payment trace. To request one, call the IRS at 800-919-9835 or mail or fax a completed Form 3911, “Taxpayer Statement Regarding Refund.” If the trace request was done via phone, then filling out the form is no longer necessary.
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Minneapolis-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.