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April 22, 2020, 9:03 a.m. EDT

Social Security recipients with kids won’t want to miss this stimulus-check deadline

The stimulus bill pays $500 per qualifying child, but some people need to give the IRS information to get the money this year

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By Andrew Keshner


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April 22 is a key date to ensure people get the $500 they’re entitled to for their kids.

Social Security recipients who have children but haven’t filed taxes recently need to submit their payment information to the feds by Wednesday in order receive a $500 stimulus check for every dependent child.

While Social Security recipients who don’t usually file taxes do not need to take any special actions to get their own $1,200 payment, the Treasury Department says they have to act quickly to get the $500 for their qualifying children. Those who miss the deadline will get the money during next year’s tax season.

Benefit recipients will need to submit their payment information by 12 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Wednesday to get any stimulus payments for qualifying children along with their own payment. If you’re a Social Security recipient who didn’t file taxes for 2019 or 2018, go to this website to submit your payment information to the IRS.

The same deadline applies to non-filers with kids who receive Railroad Retirement benefits or Veterans Administration Benefits, the Treasury Department and IRS explained.

The $2 trillion stimulus bill, formally called the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, mandates $1,200 payments to individuals making below $75,000 and married couples making under $150,000. The CARES act also pays households $500 for eligible dependent children age 17 and under.

Don’t miss: Do I have to pay back my $1,200 stimulus check? Don’t fall for these five myths about the stimulus payments

A separate tracking tool can help people see the status of their payment.

The IRS is looking at 2019 tax returns to determine stimulus payment amounts, and if it doesn’t have that, it will look to 2018 returns.

Yet people don’t need to file their taxes to get stimulus money. The IRS said it will also look at benefit recipient information to send payments. Treasury Department and IRS officials, however, say they need the extra information to process payments right now for eligible children.

“If the IRS does not receive this essential information by Wednesday, their payment will be $1,200 and the $500 per child will be paid to them with a return filing for tax year 2020,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

The 2020 tax season is next year and many families will want to tap all the money they’re entitled to right now.

People are still eligible to receive a stimulus check even if they haven’t filed taxes. Someone might not file federal taxes if they make too little money to report to the IRS. For example, single filers earning below $12,200 last year, and married couples earning $24,400.

The stimulus payments will go to anyone who is a U.S. citizen or resident alien who has a valid Social Security number, could not be claimed as a dependent of another taxpayer, and meets the income requirements.

IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig noted many benefit recipients “don’t normally have a return filing obligation and may not realize they qualify for a larger payment. We’re asking people and organizations throughout the country to share this information widely and help the IRS with the Plus $500 Push.”

The IRS said it started issuing stimulus checks the week of April 13. Over 80 million Americans were expected to get their payments during the first round of payments, the Treasury Department said.

Andrew Keshner is a personal finance reporter based in New York.

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