IRS launches web tool to help non-filers get their coronavirus rebates
The Treasury Department and IRS announced Friday that they have launched a web tool to help ensure that people who are not typically required to file tax returns receive their coronavirus relief payments.
The tool allows people who have low incomes or were otherwise not required to file tax returns for 2019 to provide the IRS with their name, address, Social Security number, bank account information and information about any dependents. The tool is free to use, and the IRS said it developed the tool in partnership with the tax-preparation companies in the Free File Alliance.
“People who don’t have a return filing obligation can use this tool to give us basic information so they can receive their Economic Impact Payments as soon as possible,” IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig said in a statement. “The IRS and Free File Alliance have been working around the clock to deliver this new tool to help people.”
Under coronavirus relief legislation President Trump signed late last month, most Americans are eligible to receive one-time direct payments of up to $1,200 per adult and $500 per child. The IRS expects to start making payments next week.
People who have filed 2019 or 2018 tax returns, receive Social Security retirement and disability payments, or receive railroad retirement benefits will automatically receive their coronavirus payments from the IRS. The new tool is designed to allow others to provide their information to the IRS so that they can obtain their payments.
The IRS said that people who should consider using the tool include people whose incomes are too low to be required to file a tax return. Additionally, the IRS said that Social Security recipients with children could use the tool to claim their $500 per child payment, since they will only automatically receive payments of $1,200.
A number of lawmakers have been urging Treasury to allow recipients of Supplemental Security Income and Veterans Affairs benefits to also automatically receive their economic impact payments. The IRS said that it is looking to see if it can automatically make payments to that group of people and said that people who receive these benefits can either use the new IRS web tool or wait while the IRS continues to examine its automatic payment options.
The IRS also said that it expects to launch a second tool by April 17 called “Get My Payment” that will allow people to check on the status of their payments and provide the IRS with their direct-deposit information.
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) had sent a letter to the Free File Alliance last week urging the group to work with the IRS to provide a free, simplified tax form to non-filers, and on Friday he praised the alliance for doing so.
“By creating a simplified tax form for those who need to file to receive their economic impact payment, the Free File Alliance is helping vulnerable populations weather these uncertain times,” he said in a statement.
Updated at 12:42 p.m.