10M People Have Yet To Claim Federal Coronavirus Stimulus Checks – They Can Still Do So

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Federal stimulus checks proved to be a lifeline for millions of Americans during the coronavirus pandemic. A new government report, however, claims that millions of people haven’t yet claimed their federal stimulus payment.

There is still some time left for such people, both taxpayers and non-filers, to claim federal coronavirus stimulus checks.

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You Can Still Claim Federal Coronavirus Stimulus Checks

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government approved three rounds of stimulus checks, two in 2020 and one in 2021. In a report on Tuesday, the Government Accountability Office said that about 165 million people were eligible for the stimulus checks.

The IRS primarily used the tax returns to determine eligibility and send the payments, using their bank account information to send direct deposits, or home addresses to send physical checks. However, the report noted that millions of Americans aren’t required to file taxes, such as those with very low income and seniors receiving Social Security benefits.

This made it challenging for the agency to reach all the eligible recipients. According to the GAO report, there could be about 10 million people who have yet to claim federal coronavirus stimulus checks.

“Throughout the pandemic, IRS and Treasury struggled to get COVID-relief payments into the hands of some people—especially those with lower-incomes, limited internet access, or experiencing homelessness," the report noted.

Such people, however, still have about a month to claim their federal coronavirus stimulus check, the report says.

"Individuals with little or no income, and therefore not required to pay taxes, have until November 15 to complete a simplified tax return to get their payments," the GAO said.

One easy way for non-filers to claim their stimulus check is to use GetCTC.org, which is a simplified filing tool. This tool, however, supports only the third stimulus check that was approved last year.

Meanwhile, those who are required to file taxes but missed the April 15 tax filing deadline, have until October 17 to claim their payment. October 17 is the tax filing deadline for those who requested an extension from the IRS. Qualifying taxpayers can use the IRS Free File tool to file for free.

You Can Also Claim The Expanded Child Tax Credit

Along with federal stimulus checks, people can still claim the expanded child tax credit, if they haven't already. The American Rescue Plan, which was approved in 2021, expanded the usual child tax credit from $2,000 per child to $3,600 per child under age 6 and $3,000 per child ages 6 through 17.

Also, the American Rescue Plan changed the way families receive credit. Eligible families got half the credit amount in six equal monthly installments and the other half at the time of filling their 2021 return.

Parents who haven’t yet claimed their child tax credit can still do so. Similar to stimulus checks, non-filers have until November 15, while those who are required to file have until November 17 to claim the child tax credit. Non-filers can go to the GetCTC.org website to claim the child tax credit as well.