Nearly 9 Million Americans May Still Have Unclaimed Stimulus Checks

Earlier this year, as the COVID-19 pandemic all but shut down the United States, the CARES Act authorized direct payments of up $1,200 per adult in an effort to stimulate the economy and keep families afloat. While these checks and direct deposits began being sent out back in April, it seems that some may still be owed their funds. In fact, millions of Americans may still quality for payments — but they’ll need to claim them soon.

Recently, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that as many as 8,863,344 people may still have stimulus checks due to them. Specifically, the unclaimed funds belong to those who were not required to file federal tax returns in 2018 or 2019. Since the agency used returns from these years to send out payments, extra information is needed from non-filers before payments can be delivered. Because of this, the IRS will be sending out letters to these Americans and has also released a state-by-state breakdown of that nearly 9 million figure.

Of all of the states and U.S. territories, California had the greatest number of non-filers who may be owed a check. In fact, more than 1.1 million Golden State residents might have funds waiting to be claimed. This figure easily topped the 796,525 Texans; 567,425 Floridians; and 537,726 New Yorkers who will be receiving letters.

Those who didn’t file tax returns in 2018 or 2019 or who receive a letter from the IRS should use the Non-Filers Payment Info Tool on the IRS website. This will allow the agency to determine whether a person is eligible for a stimulus payment and, if they are, where the payment can be sent. Unfortunately, the clock is ticking on this option as the last day to submit this information is October 15th.

Speaking to why the agency is sending out letters to impacted adults, IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig stated, “The IRS continues to work hard to reach people eligible for these payments. These mailings are the latest step by the IRS to reach as many people as possible for these important payments.” Additionally, Rettig commented on the decision to release the featured figures, explaining, “We are releasing this state-by-state information so that state and local leaders and organizations can better understand the size of this population in their communities and assist them in claiming these important payments. Time is running out to claim a payment before the deadline.”

As the IRS works to ensure that all those who qualified for initial stimulus checks get their funds, a second round of such payments is still up in the air. While it seems that Congress was nearing a deal earlier this year, talks have since broken down. Nevertheless, there is still hope that the continued impact of the pandemic will encourage lawmakers to approve another stimulus package. Of course, other Congressional issues and the impending election could complicate matters significantly. In the meantime, those who didn’t receive their payments and believe they are eligible should be sure to visit the IRS website before time runs out.

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Jonathan Dyer

I'm a small town guy living in Los Angeles looking to make solid financial decisions. I write for a number of finance websites, including HuffingtonPost and Business2Community. I founded DyerNews.com in 2015 to focus on personal finance and the emerging FinTech markets.

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