November 17th Stimulus Check Deadline Fast Approaching – Have You Claimed YOURS?
(DailyDig.com) – Yes, you read that headline correctly – November 17th. While the annual tax filing deadline is in April, and the typical extension deadline gives those who filed until mid-October, there’s another deadline millions of Americans should have on their radar this year.
Upwards of 9 million Americans have not yet claimed tax credits they may have become eligible for under the American Rescue Plan enacted in 2021 because they are not typically required to file tax returns. These credits include not only the 2021 Economic Impact Payment, but expansions of the child tax credit and the earned income tax credit as well.
Who Qualifies for the November 17 Extension?
Certain low-income individuals and families are exempt from filing tax returns each year. Generally speaking, single individuals under the age of 65 and earning less than $12,550 (or married couples earning under $25,00 annually) do not have to file with the IRS. There are some exceptions, such as those who are self-employed and need to report their income for tax purposes to begin with. Individuals who are over the age of 65 and have no income other than Social Security are also eligible to skip the filing, though there are increased deduction thresholds for some that may make it worth the trip to an advisor.
So what’s the problem? Because so many low-income Americans are not necessarily required to file tax returns, the IRS has limited information on file. This means that they did not have an account in which to deposit their $1,400 economic impact payments (stimulus checks), and in many cases had no real address where they could be notified about pending credits by mail.
The IRS has identified people who have not yet filed returns, who filed for the first time, and who have limited access to banking tools as major groups experiencing difficulty receiving their stimulus payments and credits. Those with mixed immigrant status, who experience limited access to the internet, and who are homeless have also not received credits due.
Individuals who were legally obligated to file their 2021 tax returns in April of 2022 and did not file for a six-month extension, aren’t eligible for the November 17th, 2022 extension. This initiative is a last-ditch effort by the IRS to contact underserved Americans before the credits they might be owed expire.
What Credits are Available?
First and foremost, there is a $1,400 stimulus payment made available under the American Rescue Plan that was enacted in 2021. The IRS made this available as a tax credit for individuals who for any reason did not receive their stimulus payment via direct deposit or via the mail.
The American Rescue Plan also expanded the child tax credit for 2021. While the credit is usually around $2,000 per year, the legislation increased the credit to $3,66 per child for children under the age of 6, and $3,000 per child for children between the ages of 6 and 17. Many Americans were given direct deposits ranging between $250 and $300 per month, but families had to file their taxes for any remaining balances.
The earned income tax credit (EITC) is considered one of the largest anti-poverty initiatives in the country and tends to be valued quite high. Qualifying Americans need to have at least some income documented with a W-2, which means those who are self-employed or taking cash only won’t be able to file.
How to File for Your Stimulus Check
Ready to file for your 2021 stimulus payment and possibly some of these other credits?
Start by visiting ChildTaxCredit.gov or the IRS Free File site. These websites features a simplified form designed to help those who were not otherwise required to file a tax return claim credits they would have been owed if they had filed.
Don’t forget: the November 17, 2022 extension does not apply to those who would have been required to file by April 15th, with an extension date of October 17th.
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