Millions of People May Still Be Eligible For COVID-19 Health Stimulus Payments, IRS Says

Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service had trouble getting COVID-relief payments to some people during the pandemic, particularly those with lower incomes, limited internet connection, or who were homeless. Approximately 9-10 million people who are entitled to receive these payments have not yet received them, according to information from the Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department.

More people may soon be able to breathe a sigh of relief. Those who have no taxable income are given until November 15 to file a simplified tax return in order to receive any refunds due to them. Late filers have until October 17 to submit their returns. Learn more about filing your taxes by visiting irs.gov/coronavirus/EIP or ChildTaxCredit.gov, both of which are maintained by the Internal Revenue Service.

Who Qualifies To Receive A Child Tax Credit Or A COVID-19 Stimulus Payment?

There were $931 billion in direct COVID-19 stimulus payments provided to individuals between April 2020 and December 2021. An estimated 165 million eligible Americans received the three payments allowed by Congress. All three payments, in their entirety, were made to citizens of the United States whose annual income was less than $75,000 or whose joint income was less than $150,000.

irs health stimulus
irs health stimulus

For a limited time, Congress also raised the maximum amount of the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and made it available to more families. The CTC is an automatic qualification for most families, but there are certain additional conditions that must be met.

There may have been millions of households that have already benefited from the increased CTC payments. About 84% of U.S. youngsters benefited from the advance monthly payments of half their total predicted CTC from July to December 2021. In most cases, the IRS would electronically deposit the family’s check into the bank account the family had on file with the agency. The Federal Reserve and the Census Bureau found that advanced CTC payments and the COVID stimulus helped recipients have less financial stress and eat better.

To find out if you qualify for these payments and the child tax credit, you should complete a tax return as previously mentioned.

To spread the word about the COVID-19 payments and the increased CTC, the Treasury and the IRS launched a comprehensive marketing and outreach campaign. Even so, we found several groups of people who had trouble getting paid, including:

  • had never filed a tax return,
  • were filing for the first time,
  • did not have bank accounts or lacked access to banks,
  • those with mixed immigrant status families,
  • those with limited or no internet access,
  • those experiencing homelessness.

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