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IRS launches tool for non-filers to register for stimulus checks

People who don't normally file a tax return can now register online through the IRS to get their $1,200 coronavirus stimulus payments.

WASHINGTON — The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service have launched a new online tool that allows people who don't normally file a tax return to quickly register for their coronavirus stimulus check. 

First things first, most Americans don't need to do anything to get the economic impact payments that were part of the $2.2 trillion rescue package. If you filed taxes for 2018 or 2019, then the IRS already has the information it needs for you to get the one-time payments. Those payments will be distributed automatically to most people starting next week, the IRS said Friday. 

The new IRS tool is specifically designed for people who don’t typically have a tax return filing obligation, including those with too little income to file. The feature is available only on IRS.gov, and users should look for Non-filers: Enter Payment Info Here to take them directly to the tool.

However, if you receive one of the following benefits then the IRS has your information already and you'll receive the $1,200 payment automatically: Social Security retirement benefits, Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, Railroad Retirement and Survivor Benefits. That being said, if you are in one of those groups and have children under the age of 17, then you can use the non-filing tool to claim the extra $500 per child. 

The IRS said Friday it plans to launch a second online tool where everyone can check the status of their payment and submit direct deposit information to get their checks quicker. 

Below you'll find answers from the IRS to some key questions about the new non-filing web tool. 

Who should use the non-filer tool? 

According to the IRS, the Americans who should use this new tool include: 

- If you did not file a 2018 or 2019 federal income tax return because your gross income was under $12,200 ($24,400 for married couples). This includes people who had no income.

- If you weren’t required to file a 2018 or 2019 federal income tax return for other reasons

Who should NOT use this non-filer tool? 

People who receive the following benefits should not use the non-filing tool:

- Social Security retirement benefits

- Social Security Disability Insurance benefits

- Railroad Retirement and Survivor Benefits

However, if you're in one of those groups and have children under the age of 17, you can use the IRS non-filer application to claim the extra $500 payment per child. 

How do you use the non-filer tool? 

For those who don’t normally file a tax return, the process is simple and only takes a few minutes to complete. First, visit IRS.gov, and look for “Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here.” Then provide basic information including Social Security number, name, address, and dependents. The IRS will use this information to confirm eligibility and calculate and send an Economic Impact Payment. Using the tool to get your payment will not result in any taxes being owed. Entering bank or financial account information will allow the IRS to deposit your payment directly in your account. Otherwise, your payment will be mailed to you.

“Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info” is secure, and the information entered will be safe. The tool is based on Free File Fillable Forms, part of the Free File Alliance’s offerings of free products on IRS.gov.

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