IRS says Social Security recipients with children must take action to ensure full coronavirus payment now

Recipients of Social Security and railroad retirement benefits who have children should act by Wednesday in order to quickly receive the full amount of their coronavirus relief payments, the IRS said Monday afternoon.

The announcement gives non-filers who receive certain federal benefits only a short amount of time to get the payments for their children added to their automatic payments.

Under legislation President Trump signed late last month, most households are eligible for one-time direct payments of up to $1,200 per adult and $500 per child under 17. The payments are typically based on people’s 2018 or 2019 tax returns.

The IRS in recent weeks has announced that it will automatically issue payments to people who aren’t typically required to file tax returns, including those who receive Social Security, railroad retirement benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). 

The IRS said it will be issuing automatic payments of $1,200 to people who receive these benefits and needs information from people about their dependents in order to add the $500 per child to the payments.

The agency is instructing Social Security and railroad retirement beneficiaries to use the IRS’s “Non-filers: Enter Payment Info Here” web tool by Wednesday at noon EDT to provide the IRS with information about their children. The agency said that SSI and VA beneficiaries have some additional time beyond that deadline because their automatic payments will be made at a later date.

People who do not promptly provide the IRS with information about their eligible children will receive only $1,200 in the near future and would receive the additional amount amount of $500 per child upon filing a 2020 tax return next year, the agency said. 

“We want to ‘Plus $500’ these recipients with children so they can get their maximum Economic Impact Payment of $1,200 plus $500 for each eligible child as quickly as possible,” IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig said in a news release. “They’ll get $1,200 automatically, but they need to act quickly and register at to get the extra $500 per child added to their payment.”

“These groups don’t normally have a return filing obligation and may not realize they qualify for a larger payment,” Rettig added. “We’re asking people and organizations throughout the country to share this information widely and help the IRS with the Plus $500 Push.”

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