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Deadline to Get Stimulus Payment Without Filing Tax Return Is November 21

Low-income workers, homeless can register for checks using nonfilers tool on IRS.gov

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If you don't usually file a tax return and you haven't gotten a stimulus payment, you have until Nov. 21 to register for one at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website.

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Although the IRS has sent out $270 billion in stimulus payments, some people who aren't required to file a tax return and who don't receive certain federal benefits may not have gotten a payment yet. Why? Because the IRS doesn't have records on file or available from another federal agency to determine eligibility.

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Registering for a stimulus payment requires using the free nonfilers tool on IRS.gov, which is available in English and Spanish. Don't use the tool if you already filed a 2018 or 2019 federal income tax return or are required to file tax returns but haven't. Typically, married couples with income below $24,400 and individuals with income below $12,200 aren't required to file tax returns.

You can qualify for a stimulus payment even if you don't work or have earned income.

Usually, married couples qualify to receive a $2,400 stimulus payment, while individuals normally qualify to get $1,200. People with qualifying children under age 17 can get up to an additional $500 for each child. Anyone eligible who registers by Oct. 15, including the homeless, will receive their payment by the end of the year. Otherwise, you'll have to wait until 2021 to claim a stimulus payment when you file a tax return for 2020.

The Sept. 30 deadline to register eligible dependent children, who could get up to $500 per child, has passed. You’ll have to file a 2020 federal income tax return in 2021 to get the payment.

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The government has sent out 160 million stimulus payments to date, totaling more than $270 billion. This includes payments sent to those who usually do not have to file a tax return but receive retirement, survivor or disability benefits under various programs administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA), including Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The total also includes qualifying beneficiaries of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Railroad Retirement Board.

If you think your stimulus payment is being processed but you haven't received it yet, you can use another IRS tool, Get My Payment, to check on the status of your payment.

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AARP Membership — $12 for your first year when you sign up for Automatic Renewal

Get instant access to members-only products and hundreds of discounts, a free second membership, and a subscription to AARP the Magazine.