By Yi Ning Wong and Jenna Severson
The second round of stimulus checks remain on the negotiating table after Democratic and Republican leaders failed to reach an agreement on the stimulus bill last week.
The House will recess on October 2nd, and is unlikely to reconvene before elections. As a result, it is unclear if there will be another stimulus check. While discussions on future stimulus checks continue in Congress, some people have yet to get their first stimulus checks.
There’s good news: if you haven’t received your check yet, it’s not too late. A group of nonprofit organizations has come together to help ensure that low-income Illinoisans are able to receive their stimulus checks. The project, Get My Payment Illinois, has resources online to help you get your check.
If you still haven’t received your check, here are some possible reasons why:
1. You receive Social Security, SSI, veterans, or railroad retirement benefits but the IRS still needs more information
Initially, individuals receiving Social Security (disability, survivors, or retirement), veterans, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or railroad retirement benefits were told they would receive their stimulus checks automatically in the same way they receive their benefits. However, many still have not received their checks. This may be because the government does not have all the information they need to confirm who should receive it. If you still haven’t received your check, the IRS is asking that you use their non-filer website to request your check before October 15th. Those with dependents under age 17 should use the non-filer website by September 30th to receive the $500 dependent payment this year. Those who miss these deadlines may also request their check on their 2020 tax return next year.
2. You need to file taxes OR submit your information using the IRS non-filer site
You may still be eligible if you haven’t filed your taxes. If you haven’t filed taxes in the last two years, you can receive your check by filing your tax return prior to October 15th.
If you earn too little to file taxes, you can get your stimulus check by entering your payment information on the IRS non-filer portal by October 15, 2020 to get your check prior to the end of this year.
You can use the non-filer portal if one of these applies to you:
- You are filing as a single person who earned less than $12,200 (or less than $13,850 if age 65 or older)
- You are a married couple filing jointly who earned less than $24,400 (or less than $25,700 if one spouse was age 65 or older or less than $27,000 if both spouses were age 65 or older)
- You are married filing separately and earned less than $5
- You are filing as a head of household who earned less than $18,350 (or less than $20,000 if age 65 or older)
- You are a qualifying widow(er) who earned less than $24,400 (or less than $25,700 if age 65 or older)
However, you should still file your 2019 taxes if any of the following reasons apply to you:
- You had income tax withheld from your pay, pension, social security, or other income.
- You qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit. Visit the IRS Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) webpage for more information or use this EITC Eligibility Checker.
- You qualify for the additional child tax credit.
- You qualify for the refundable credit for prior year minimum tax. See Form 8801, Credit for Prior Year Minimum Tax — Individuals, Estates, and Trusts.
- You qualify for a refundable American Opportunity Credit.
- You are required to file a state return.
- You receive a 1099-B and the gross proceeds plus other income exceeds the filing limits in Chart A.
- You receive Form 1099-S, Proceeds From Real Estate Transactions.
- You qualify for the federal tax on fuels.
- You qualify for the Premium Tax Credit.
You have until October 15, 2020 if you want to receive a stimulus check by the end of 2020. Here’s what you’ll need to prepare prior to visiting the non-filer site.
3. You are waiting for a check by mail
In April, the IRS estimated that waiting for a check by mail could take up to five months. If you haven’t filed taxes yet or used the non-filer site to request your check, entering a direct deposit bank account number could help speed up the process. Once you have signed up for a bank account or a prepaid debit card number, you can enter it on your taxes or the non-filer site to get your payment faster through a direct deposit. However, if you filed taxes earlier this year or last year, you can no longer add bank information to receive direct deposit after May 13th.
Local banks are offering lower cost, safe accounts for people who need a bank account through Bank On. Some banks will even cash your stimulus check at no cost. Learn how to get a Bank On account online or what to do if you can’t get one.
4. You filed your taxes by mail
If you filed your taxes by mail, the process is longer because the IRS offices were shut down for months because of the pandemic. You can use the IRS Get My Payment page to check the status of your payment. You’ll be asked to check okay to confirm that you are an authorized user.
5. You’ve moved since the last time you filed taxes
If you’ve moved since you filed your 2018 or 2019 taxes, but the IRS has your bank account information for your refund, you should still get a direct deposit in your account. If the IRS doesn’t have your bank account on file and you’ve moved, your paper check may end up at your previous place. Be sure to change your address with the U.S. Postal Service.
Still having trouble? Get My Payment IL can help! Ask us!
If none of the above apply to you, you may need to take extra steps to receive your check, find out your eligibility or use the IRS Get My Payment App to find your payment status. We also have a step by step guide to help you through the process.
You might be asking “when will I get my stimulus check?” or “how do I get my stimulus check?” You can use our “ Frequently Asked Questions” section to check your eligibility or get answers to common questions.
If you live in Illinois contact our team for support:
By email: help@GetMyPaymentIL.org
By phone: 888-553-9777
Find more information and flyers in various languages, including English, Spanish, Polish, Chinese, Arabic, and Tagalog at www.GetMyPaymentIL.org.