Drake Software blog for tax pros, covering tax, IRS news, and more

IRS Targets Non-Filers for EIPs

IRS Targets Non-Filers for EIPs

The Internal Revenue Service says it will start sending out letters this month to a group of taxpayers that may have missed out on receiving Economic Impact Payments (EIPs).

The letters, aimed at some 9 million Americans who don’t normally file a federal income tax return, notify them that they may be eligible for an EIP—but they must register in order to claim one.

These taxpayers have until October 15 to register their claim so they can receive a payment by the end of the year.

Individuals can receive up to $1,200, and married couples can receive up to $2,400. People with qualifying children who were under age 17 at the end of 2019 can get up to an additional $500 for each qualifying child.

Non-Filers can still qualify for an Economic Impact Payment!

The IRS is sending letters to people who haven’t filed a tax return for either 2018 or 2019. This includes those who don’t typically have a filing requirement because they appear to have very low incomes based on W-2s, 1099s, and other third-party statements available to the IRS. Despite the lower incomes though, many of these people are still eligible for an Economic Impact Payment.

"The IRS has made an unprecedented outreach effort to make sure people are aware of their potential eligibility for an Economic Impact Payment this year," said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. "Millions who don't normally file a tax return have already registered and received a payment. We are taking this extra step to help Americans who may not know they could be eligible for this payment or don't know how to register for one. People who aren't required to file a tax return can quickly register on IRS.gov and still get their money this year."

The letter, termed Notice 1444-A by the IRS, is written in both English and Spanish. The mailing is expected to start around September 24 and will go out from an IRS address. To help address fraud concerns, a copy of the letter will be available on IRS.gov.

Go online to register.

The letter urges eligible individuals to register by October 15 for a payment by using the free Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here tool.

Over 7 million people have used the Non-Filers Tool so far to register for their payment. If a person is unable to access the Non-Filers Tool they can submit a simplified paper return using the procedures outlined in the Economic Impact Payments FAQs on IRS.gov.

It should be noted that simply receiving a letter is not a guarantee that the recipient will get an Economic Impact Payment.

The IRS puts the qualifications this way: “An individual is likely eligible if he or she is a U.S. citizen or resident alien; has a work-eligible Social Security number; and can't be claimed as dependent on someone else's federal income tax return. However, there can be a variety of situations that could affect an individual's eligibility.”

For information on the EIP eligibility requirements, check out the Economic Impact Payment eligibility FAQs on IRS.gov.

The registration deadline for non-filers to claim an Economic Impact Payment using the Non-Filers Tool is Oct. 15, 2020. If they cannot make the deadline, people can also wait until next year and claim the credit amount on their 2020 federal income tax return by filing in 2021.

Taxpayers who are required to file either a 2018 or a 2019 tax return should file the return but should not use the Non-Filers Tool.

Bob Williams

Forget genes; I’ve got words in my DNA. Communication has been part of who I am nearly all my life. From a long career in radio news to another one in newspapers – and a University of Georgia journalism degree sandwiched between the two – language has been my life. I’ve also been fortunate to have learned the tax business from the ground up here at Drake, starting with 1040.com online forms some years ago before moving on to work on the Web. In all things tax-ish, we aim to give you tools you can use.