Deadline to claim your first stimulus check in 2020 is expired. Here’s your last chance to get it

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Missed the deadline to claim your stimulus money in 2020? You still have an option left.


Sarah Tew/CNET

The IRS deadline to register a claim for a missing stimulus payment this year has now expired, but you can still file a request to get your missing check — you just have to wait until 2021 to receive up to $1,200 per qualified adult for the first payment the IRS sent in April.

We’ll show you how to figure out if you’re part of a group that could still be eligible for a full or catch-up payment. This is separate from a potential second stimulus check, which Congress is still weighing as part of another economic stimulus package amid increased pressure to ramp up negotiations and pass a new bill. (If a second check is approved, you might get it faster if you do these things now.)

We outline who may qualify for more money in the first round and who might not be eligible for a second payment, if one happens — read on for more information. This story was updated recently.


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How to file for your missing stimulus money in 2021

If you belong to one of the groups below, or tried estimating your total stimulus payment and think the IRS didn’t send your check in full, you have one more chance to claim your stimulus check money, which the IRS is calling the Recovery Rebate Credit. You’ll be able to file in tax season 2021; if the typical schedule holds, your federal tax return will be due April 15, though in 2020, the IRS extended the deadline to July 15 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the IRS doesn’t have specific instructions yet for every personal situation (more on these below), the agency does say that people who files taxes can use 2020 Form 1040 or 1040SR to claim a catch-up payment. If you received a partial payment, you’ll need the IRS’ calculated amount from the letter called Notice 1444 Your Economic Impact Payment when you file in 2021.

If you don’t normally file a tax return, do this

In September, the IRS started sending letters to 9 million Americans who may have qualified for a payment but perhaps didn’t know they needed to register to claim it. This group — which the IRS categorizes as “nonfilers” — includes people who didn’t file a tax return in 2018 or 2019, such as older adults, retirees, SSDI recipients and individuals with incomes less than $12,200. Those in this group needed to file a claim using the Non-Filers tool by Nov. 21. The IRS said if you missed the deadline you can claim the payment, which, again, it calls a Recovery Rebate Credit, in 2021 when you file a 2020 federal income tax return:  

When you file a 2020 Form 1040 or 1040SR you may be eligible for the Recovery Rebate

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Deadline to claim your stimulus money this year is passed. What to do now

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We’ll show you how to claim your share of the stimulus check.


Sarah Tew/CNET

The IRS deadline to register a claim this year for a missing stimulus payment was yesterday, Nov. 21. If you missed the Saturday deadline, it doesn’t mean you won’t get a payment, but you won’t get a check this year and will have to wait until 2021 to clam your money. We’ll show you how to do that.

Below, we explain how to see if you’re eligible for more economic impact money and how to estimate your total stimulus payment. This payment is separate from a second stimulus check, which Congress is still considering as part of another economic stimulus package if negotiations can yield a bipartisan agreement on the substance of the legislation.

The federal government still owes money to millions of Americans from the first round of coronavirus relief payments. According to ProPublica, more than 12 million people still hadn’t received all they were due by late October. We outline who may qualify for more money in the first round and who might not be eligible for a second payment, should there be one — read on for more information. This story was updated recently.


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People who don’t normally file a tax return

In September, the IRS started sending letters to 9 million Americans who may qualify for a payment but perhaps didn’t know they needed to register to claim it. This group — which the IRS categorizes as “nonfilers” — includes people who didn’t file a tax return in 2018 or 2019, such as older adults, retirees, SSDI recipients and individuals with incomes less than $12,200. Those in this group needed to file a claim using the Non-Filers tool by Nov. 21. The IRS said if you missed the deadline you can claim the payment — which it calls a “Recovery Rebate Credit” — in 2021 when you file a 2020 federal income tax return:  

When you file a 2020 Form 1040 or 1040SR you may be eligible for the Recovery Rebate Credit. Save your IRS letter – Notice 1444 Your Economic Impact Payment – with your 2020 tax records. You’ll need the amount of the payment in the letter when you file in 2021.

People missing a payment for a dependent child

Under the CARES Act, each qualifying child dependent — those 16 years and younger — was eligible for a $500 check. But some people’s payments were short $500 for each eligible dependent. 

If you claimed it by Nov. 21, you could receive the payment in December. You can use our stimulus check calculator to get an idea of how much you may be owed.

As with the nonfilers, if you missed the deadline, the IRS said you can claim the payment on your 2020 federal tax return in 2021, by filing a 2020 Form 1040 or 1040SR.

Note that in a few cases, where

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$1,200 Stimulus Check Text Messages Are A Scam

Many individuals have recently reported receiving texts with fraudulent messages telling them that they need to click on a link in order to accept their stimulus check payment. If you receive one of these, please don’t on the link, the text is a scam trying to cheat you out of money.

Since March, when the coronavirus pandemic started ravaging the U.S., the Federal Trade Commission has received more than 5,000 complaints from individuals who received fraudulent text messages, according to News10NBC. These unsolicited messages have defrauded Americans out of more than $2 million. This is only a sliver of overall coronavirus related scams. As reported by Forbes earlier this year, the Better Business reported that fraudsters were calling individuals about special coronavirus grants that required them to verify their identity first. Other variations included claims of getting your stimulus check faster if you share personal and financial details and pay a small “processing fee.”

MORE FROM FORBESBeware Of Stimulus Check Scams And Related Hoaxes

Dana Starr of Monroe County, New York showed News10NBC the text message she received last week trying to lure her to click on a phony link. “You have a three pending direct deposit of $1,200 from COVID-19 TREAS FUND,” the message read. “Further action is required to accept this payment into your account. Continue here to accept this payment,” it ended with a suspicious link to a European website.

Others reported receiving text messages about a second government stimulus check, which does not exist at this point. WATE6 reported on Lynn Courtney and Al Knox who recently received text messages telling them to call a number for assistance about their stimulus check. When Knox called, he was threatened over the phone. “They told me that if I did not give them my Social Security number a warrant would be issued for my arrest,” he told 6WATE. For the record, no one from the actual government will threaten to arrest you.

As many as 12 million Americans haven’t received their stimulus check yet and many be frustrated by the delay and desperately seeking information; however, it is important not to be lulled into thinking that these fraudulent text messages will provide real answers.

How To Avoid Stimulus Check Scams

Here are a few important tips to remember to keep you from falling victim to stimulus check fraudsters:

  1. Don’t Click On Links: Do not click on any links in text messages or e-mails about stimulus checks. Remember that “the IRS won’t contact you by phone, email, text message, or social media with information about your stimulus payment,” according to the Federal Trade Commission. It will also not ask you for your Social Security number, bank account, or government benefits debit card account number.
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Still No Stimulus Check? IRS Designates November 10 As “National EIP Registration Day”

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has designated November 10 as “National EIP Registration Day.” The event is intended to serve as a final push for those who doesn’t normally file a tax return to register to receive an Economic Impact Payment (EIP, or more commonly, stimulus check).

“National EIP Registration Day” will feature support from IRS partner groups inside and outside of the tax community, including those that work with low-income and underserved communities. Many of those groups have been working with the IRS, helping translate and making available stimulus check information and resources in 35 languages.

The IRS also plans a special push on social media to support the final registration drive in multiple languages. You can follow the IRS on Twitter @IRSNews, like them on Facebook @IRS, and follow them on Instagram @IRSNews.

The point of the added publicity is to call attention to the new November 21 deadline. Last month, the IRS extended the deadline to register for your stimulus check to November 21, 2020. This new date gives you an additional five weeks past the previous October 15, 2020, deadline.

Stimulus Check Letters Are In The Mail

The IRS has already sent nearly 9 million letters to people who may be eligible for the $1,200 checks but don’t normally file a tax return. Those folks have been identified as potential check recipients based on an internal analysis of forms, like Forms W-2, 1099s, and other third-party statements sent to the IRS each year, but have not been matched with tax returns. This is generally Americans who have an annual income of $24,400 or less for married couples and $12,200 or less for single folks.

The letter, officially known as IRS Notice 1444-A, advises non-filers that they should register at IRS.gov by the deadline to receive a check by the end of the year. If you miss the date, you will have to wait until next year and claim the credit on your 2020 federal income tax return (the one that you’ll file in 2021) to receive a check.

The letters, along with the special November 10 event, both urge people to use the Non-Filers: Enter Info Here on IRS.gov.

“Our partner groups have been a critical part of the unprecedented IRS outreach and education campaign this year to contact as many people as possible about these payments,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “As a result, millions of Americans have successfully used the Non-filers portal and received their Economic Impact Payment. Registration is quick and easy, and we urge everyone to share this information to reach as many people before time runs out on November 21.”

How To Register To Get A Stimulus Check

To register for your payment, simply click over to the IRS website and use the Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here tool. There is no cost to register. You can speed up your check’s arrival by choosing to receive it by direct deposit; if you don’t opt for direct deposit, you’ll get

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People who are incarcerated may now be eligible for stimulus checks. Here’s what’s happening

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A federal judge has ordered the IRS to issue stimulus checks to eligible people even if they’re incarcerated. 


Sarah Tew/CNET

Since the IRS began issuing stimulus checks back in April, incarcerated people throughout the US have had to navigate confusing and often contradictory information about whether or not they could collect the money. First, the IRS sent money to people in jail and prison, then the agency asked for the money back (cached IRS website). On Oct. 19, a federal judge ruled that nothing in the CARES Act, which authorized stimulus checks of up to $1,200 per individual, prohibits payments to many of the 2.3 million people residing in US jails and prisons. The judge ordered the IRS to send the checks.

The results of the class-action lawsuit bring some clarity to the issue, but the IRS has already appealed the decision and requested an injunction against the current ruling, which could possibly upend things yet again down the road. For now, the IRS has extended the deadline for incarcerated individuals to request their stimulus checks until Nov. 21. However, with little to no internet access and unreliable means of communication with family and friends at home, filing that claim still presents some hurdles.

We’ll tell you what you need to know about how to notify the IRS about an incarcerated person’s eligibility, where to send the money and answer other questions you may have about stimulus checks being sent to those who are incarcerated. Here’s what we know about qualifications for the second stimulus check, where negotiations stand on a new stimulus bill and when a second stimulus check could arrive.

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The IRS had requested incarcerated people return any stimulus checks they received, but reversed course after a federal judge ruled against the agency.


Sarah Tew/CNET

Can people in jail or prison get a stimulus check?

Right now, the answer is yes, but that could change if a judge rules in favor of the IRS with regard to its appeal.

Who is eligible to receive the first check?

Anyone who’s eligible to receive a stimulus check is eligible to receive one even if they are incarcerated. Check our complete stimulus guide for more details.

How does someone who is incarcerated request a check?

The IRS says information can be provided using the Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here online tool by Nov. 21, or you can file a 2019 simplified paper tax return following the instructions on the File a Simplified Paper Tax Return page. The deadline for filing a paper return is Nov. 4.

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Incarcerated people rarely if ever have access to the internet, yet IRS instructions for notifying the agency require it.


Angela Lang/CNET

Can someone else request a stimulus payment for the incarcerated person?

Most jails and prisons do not allow internet access to those incarcerated in them, so it seems improbable if not impossible

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Tenth of pandemic stimulus spend could help world reach climate goals

By Matthew Green

LONDON (Reuters) – The world could get on track to avert catastrophic climate change by investing a tenth of a planned $12 trillion in pandemic recovery packages in reducing dependence on fossil fuels, according to a study published on Thursday.

With the stimulus representing about 15% of global gross domestic product, or three times the commitment after the 2008 financial crisis, scientists say the money could prove pivotal in meeting the temperature goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement.

“It makes absolute sense not just to keep your economy alive with palliative care, but to restructure your economy so it’s future-ready,” Joeri Rogelj, a climate scientist at Imperial College London, and a co-author of the paper, told Reuters.

The most ambitious goal in the Paris accord aims to cap the rise in global temperatures at 1.5 degrees Celsius, which scientists say could avert far more intense disasters, from wildfires and hurricanes to storm surges and floods.

The world could start to bring that target within reach if governments used 10% of the planned stimulus to back climate-friendly projects such as renewable energy or energy efficiency every year for the next five years, according to the paper, published in the journal Science.

Public and private investors would also need to slash investment in fossil fuel-heavy sectors from a projected $1.1 trillion per year over the next five years under existing climate plans, to closer to $800 billion, to begin pivoting the global economy towards net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

While the European Union, Germany, France, South Korea and various others have pledged to support a low-carbon shift, governments have so far mostly used rescue packages to prop up business as usual, according to separate research by Energy Policy Tracker, a nonprofit research project.

Among G20 countries, the tracker has identified $393 billion worth of government commitments to transport, buildings, power and extractive industries. Of this total, $209 billion directly supported the production and consumption of fossil fuels, and $145 billion went to renewable energy.

“Public commitments since the pandemic are so far critically insufficient to meet Paris targets,” Ivetta Gerasimchuk, sustainable energy lead at the International Institute for Sustainable Development, who works on the tracker, told Reuters.

(Reporting by Matthew Green; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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