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The IRS this month is contacting 9 million Americans who may still be owed economic stimulus money.


Angela Lang/CNET

The IRS is now sending letters to 9 million people who may be eligible for the economic stimulus check that was authorized under this spring’s CARES Act but have not claimed it yet. They have till Oct. 15 to file for their payment, the IRS said.

Among the 9 million the IRS started contacting last week are nonfilers who weren’t required to file a federal tax return for 2018 and 2019 and didn’t know they needed to submit an additional form with the IRS to claim a relief payment. The agency is also letting people with dependents who are missing portions of their check register for a catch-up payment by Sept. 30.

These missing payments from the first round are separate from the second stimulus check that could be part of a new coronavirus relief package — here’s where it stands in Washington. Here’s when a potential second stimulus check could arrive for qualifying Americans and how much money you might receive. You can also consult CNET’s stimulus calculator tool for an estimate, and for a broader view, check out the six most important things to know about stimulus payments.

What’s the deadline to request the economic payment?

Those using the Non-Filers tool need to request their payment by Oct. 15. Afterward, the only way to claim a payment will be to file a federal income tax return.


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How will the IRS contact you about the payment?

The IRS will start sending the letters — which it calls IRS Notice 1444-A — around Sept. 24 to those who may be eligible. The agency said the letter will be mailed from an IRS address. You can see a copy of the letter here (PDF) in English and Spanish.

How do you claim your stimulus payment?

If you weren’t required to file a federal tax return, the letter directs you to use the IRS’ Non-Filers tool, where you can provide some information to claim your payment.

If you were required to file your federal taxes but didn’t, the letter directs you to electronically file your 2019 tax return immediately and then use the IRS’ Get My Payment to check the status of your payment.

The IRS cautions that receiving a letter doesn’t guarantee you are eligible for a payment.

For more on economic impact payments have tips on how best to use your stimulus check, how to avoid being scammed and how young you can be and still get your own stimulus check money. Again, you can use our stimulus check calculator to get an estimate for how much you might receive.

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