The Internal Revenue Service is working to alert local residents that even if they didn’t file a federal income tax return, they’re eligible for a coronavirus stimulus payment.
The IRS is mailing letters to the roughly 9 million people nationwide encouraging them to see if they’re eligible to claim an economic impact payment, colloquially known as a stimulus check, according to a release.
Letters will be sent to 71,382 people in Iowa who typically aren’t required to file a federal return, according to ZIP code-by-ZIP code data provided by the IRS. That includes 2,105 Council Bluffs residents.
Specific data for Pottawattamie County as a whole and Mills and Harrison Counties wasn’t available, as the agency rolled any ZIP code with less than 200 mailings into an “other” category, of which there are 26,928 for Iowa.
The letters being sent out this month are to residents who haven’t filed a return for either 2018 or 2019.
The agency noted “based on an internal analysis, these are people who don’t typically have a tax return filing requirement because they appear to have very low incomes based on Forms W-2 and 1099, and other third-party statements available to the IRS.”
The letter urges recipients to visit the special Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info tool on IRS.gov before an Oct. 15 deadline to register for an Economic Impact Payment. Residents can register ahead of the letter arriving if they believe they’re eligible.
The letters will be sent in both English and Spanish and include information on eligibility criteria.
“The IRS continues to work hard to reach people eligible for these payments,” IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said in the release. “These mailings are the latest step by the IRS to reach as many people as possible for these important payments. We are releasing this state-by-state information so that state and local leaders and organizations can better understand the size of this population in their communities and assist them in claiming these important payments. Time is running out to claim a payment before the deadline.”
Individuals can receive up to $1,200, and married couples can receive up to $2,400, according to the IRS. People with qualifying children under age 17 at the end of 2019 can get up to an additional $500 for each qualifying child.
The IRS cautioned that receiving a letter is not a guarantee of eligibility. An individual is likely eligible if he or she is a U.S. citizen or resident alien, has a work-eligible Social Security number and can’t be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s federal income tax return.
“People can qualify for a payment, even if they don’t work or have no earned income. But low- and moderate-income workers and working families eligible to receive special tax benefits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit, cannot use this tool,” the IRS noted. “They will need to file a regular tax return as soon as possible. The IRS will use their tax return information to determine and issue any Economic Impact Payment for which they are eligible.”
Go to irs.gov/coronavirus for more information.
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