While Americans desperately await another round of stimulus checks in an economy marked by record-high prices and few jobs, they might have missed out on Stimulus Check payments from three years back. And the window to claim the old refunds may be fast closing, say the IRS, especially if you haven’t filed your income tax returns since 2019.
The numbers aren’t small. Around 1.5 million people remain who have not claimed income tax refunds from 2019 and the amount is close to $1.5 billion, according to agency estimates. And the last chance to file the 2019 returns and collect the refunds is fast approaching and is a little more than a month away. July 17 this year has been set as the cut-off date for filing the 2019 income tax returns and claiming the stimulus checks.
The median Stimulus Check payment for individual filers could be as high as $893, the IRS reported. Normally the deadline to claim any refund is three years for unfiled returns. Post that, the money becomes of property of the treasury department of the US.
Usually, every year that deadline and the federal deadline for income tax filing coincide. But extra time has been given for 2019 because of the uncertainties created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Danny Werfel, the IRS Commissioner stated that as the income tax return for the year 2019 coincided with the pandemic, many people might have forgotten about, or overlooked, the refunds. The pandemic struck the US at the end of the first quarter and the nation was amid a prolonged shutdown starting April 2020, the month the normal deadline for filing income tax returns.
While the tax deadline for filing the 2019 income tax returns was extended until July, many Americans, including students and low-income individuals, may have skipped the income tax filing for the year.
2019 Filers Put Off By Prospect Of Paying Money In A Difficult Situation
Tax planners say that there was the possibility that people were scared off. They surmised that the situation would be more grim than it turned out to be. But they did not realize that they were leaving money on the table.
For instance, low and moderate earners qualified for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which provided tax breaks even for those who did not have a balance due.
The EITC helps low and moderate earners and their families get a tax break and this helps especially in times such as the pandemic. For those who qualify, they can use the credit to reduce the tax that they owe. It also helps them increase the refund amount.
Individuals and households can claim the EITC stimulus check if their income is between low and moderate. The credit amount could be in for a change if there are children in the family. The same also applies to, dependents, children, and the disabled. The Stimulus Check payments are also made if the beneficiaries meet some other criteria.
The clergy and the military personnel are also qualified for the EITC support but should review the rules as this credit may affect other government benefits.
For workers who have a relatively simple income tax situation, including a W-2 income and non-business income, the process of filing income tax returns is quite easy, say certified tax planners and accountants.
Going Through The Whole Process Of Claiming The Stimulus Check
For those feeling overwhelmed by any unfiled return, experts say that the sanest option is, to begin with gathering documents. Filers can obtain copies of tax documents from sources like loan providers and their employers by making a formal application. At times documents are provided electronically and are given on demand.
Older tax documents can also be accessed through the personal online account with the IRS. Login to the IRS transcript will help you access the IRS transcripts. This income and wage transcript includes 1099s and W-2S.
Filers can also access the IRS transcript for the current season and three previous years. For most filers, this stands out as the quickest and also the easiest option.
For those who have multiple years of unsubmitted returns, tax planners say that you should start with the first year, in this case, 2019. While it is indeed daunting to face the prospect of filing taxes for multiple years,
But taking the task one year at a time will help, and it will become easier to move on to the succeeding year. Despite the mess, Americans still have a hope of getting stimulus checksshortlye as some states and local bodies have introduced new forms of stimulus checks and that includes both states and local bodies.
Most American states that allowed inflation relief and stimulus checks to residents in 2022 ended their schemes in 2023. But some pending payments continued through the first quarter of the new year. Idaho is among the states to announce the continuation of earlier in the second quarter of 2023. Those who have filed later or have got an extension are entitled to get tax rebate Stimulus Checks under the Special Session Rebates that went out in March and September last year.
Illinois is also sending out stimulus checks for those who filed their returns by October 17 last year. Payments are being made under the Property Tax Rebate and the Illinois Income Tax Rebate. Most such payments were made in the last quarter of 2022 and the first quarter of this year. But the state Comptroller has indicated that the payments will all be completed.
Maine is also allowing an extension of the time to file a state return. The final day for filing the Maine Winter Energy Relief Payments was October 31 last year. Most payments were dispatched in the first quarter of this year. But the payments continue as the stimulus checks have not been dispatched completely.
Those who have not received their Stimulus Check have until the end of June to contact the State Tax Assessor and prove their eligibility.