Last week, we looked at the new Economic Impact Payment scams that identity thieves were launching against Americans who are already reeling from the whiplash of life during the COVID-19 epidemic. At least non-filers who aren’t set to automatically receive an EIP got a bit of good news this week: the IRS released two new EIP tools designed to help filers sign up for ad track the status of their payment.
Why won’t some qualifying filers automatically receive an Economic Impact Payment?
EIP eligibility is determined by Adjusted Gross Income (AGI). Individuals who make less than $75,000, heads of household who make less than $112,500, and joint-filing married couples who make less than $150,000 qualify for a $1,200 payment, and those with qualifying dependents under 17 can also receive an additional $500 per child. That means the IRS generally uses information from recently filed tax returns—tax years 2018 and 2019, specifically—to determine if someone qualifies, automatically issuing payment to via direct deposit or paper check to the bank account or address listed on the return. Unfortunately, that presents a problem for those who don’t normally file a tax return.
In recent weeks, the IRS has been working with other government agencies to identify and automatically issue EIPs to certain non-filers. Railroad Retirement, Social Security, Social Security Disability, Supplemental Security Income, and Veterans Association beneficiaries are among those who will automatically receive an EIP. Unfortunately, non-filers who aren’t receiving those benefits will need to provide the IRS some information.
How do non-filers send the IRS the information required to qualify for an Economic Impact Payment?
Until last week, affected non-filers were asked to file a “simple return” to report EIP qualifying information to the IRS. While some professional tax software companies began offering an “EIP return” to give tax professionals a way to serve an influx of non-filer clients, the IRS said it was developing online EIP tools: Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here and Get My Payment let users sign up for and track the status of their Economic Impact Payment, respectively.
Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here launched on IRS.gov last Friday, giving non-filers who aren’t automatically receiving an EIP a quick and convenient way to give the IRS the financial information required to qualify for the payment. Users who go to IRS.gov can navigate to the Enter Payment Info tool by clicking the “Economic Impact Payments” link and then scrolling down to and clicking on the Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here button. From that point, they just need to follow the on-screen instructions and enter the requested information.
How do I check the status of my Economic Impact Payment?
The IRS introduced the Get My Payment tool so filers can check the status of a pending Economic Impact Payment. To find Get My Payment, users who don’t have the direct link will need to navigate to the “Economic Impact Payments” page and click the blue Get My Payment button.
In addition to tracking the status of your EIP, Get My Payment users can also apply for direct deposit of their payment. That said, the IRS explains that there are some limitations to this particular function: “Get My Payment cannot update bank account information after an Economic Impact Payment has been scheduled for delivery. To help protect against potential fraud, the tool also does not allow people to change bank account information already on file with the IRS.”
Sources: COVID Tax Tip 2020-40; IR-2020-72