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The IRS this month will contact 9 million Americans who may still be owed stimulus money.


Angela Lang/CNET

Since the federal government started sending stimulus checks out in April, the IRS has made close to 200 million payments to eligible Americans through checks, direct deposits and prepaid debit cards. But at least one group of people are still owed economic impact payments by the IRS (well, maybe two), and starting later this month, the agency will mail letters to an estimated 9 million Americans who may be eligible for a direct payment, but haven’t registered to claim it yet.

Who are they? People who didn’t file a federal income tax return in either 2018 or 2019 and are eligible for a direct payment. The IRS has already sent checks to the vast majority of people who already filed their taxes in the last two years, but an entire group of non-filers is still eligible for payment — and they need to take an extra step to claim it. You can estimate how much of the $1,200 cap you might receive with CNET’s handy stimulus check calculator.

Although the IRS is sending letters with all the details, we also wanted to provide some helpful information for securing that $1,200 check. Here’s what you need to know about finding out if you’re eligible for the original stimulus check and then claiming it if you receive a letter from the IRS. And here’s what you need to know about when a second stimulus check might come to eligible Americans and how much money you could get.

Who will the IRS contact about the owed payments?

The IRS said it’s sending letters to 9 million Americans who didn’t file federal income tax returns in either 2018 or 2019 and who may be eligible for a payment. This group includes both those who are not required to file a return and those who are required but haven’t yet, the agency said.


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How will the IRS contact those who qualify for a stimulus check?

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.

What steps do you need to take to claim your 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.

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The IRS is sending later this month letters to 9 million people who may still be due a stimulus payment.


Sarah Tew/CNET

When is the deadline to request your 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.

For more on economic impact payments have tips on how best to use your stimulus check, how to avoid being scammed and what’s the youngest you can be to 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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