What Is the Non-Filers Tool? IRS Urges 9 Million to Claim $1,200 COVID Stimulus Payment

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on Tuesday announced that nine million Americans who have yet to receive a stimulus check will be mailed letters later this month with instructions on how to claim the funds.

The agency has typically given these to low-income individuals who did not file federal tax returns for 2018 or 2019, until October 15, to register on the IRS website to receive their checks by the end of 2020. All nine million are eligible for stimulus payments.

"Reminder: The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) authorized the IRS to issue Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) of up to $1,200 to most U.S. citizens and residents," reads the letter, published in both English and Spanish.

"After October 15, the only way to claim your EIP will be to file a federal income tax return."

The letter also contains a weblink to the non-filers tool, which allows individuals to "easily and quickly" submit necessary information for the agency to use in determining their eligibility and payment amount.

Congress unanimously approved the stimulus checks in March. Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, individuals with incomes under $75,000 were allocated a one-time payment of $1,200 and married couples with incomes under $150,000 were provided $2,400, with separate payments of $500 for each eligible dependent under age 17.

Most qualifying Americans have already received their payments. The millions that missed out weren't required to file a tax return in 2019 because they either had no income or low income, defined as under $12,200 for an individual or $24,000 for joint filers.

According to the non-filers tool, an eligible person or persons must have a valid social security number and cannot not be claimed as a dependent of another taxpayer.

In recent months, the IRS has engaged in efforts to identify non-filers in order to provide their payments. So far, the agency had said roughly seven million have successfully used the web tool.

"Millions who don't normally file a tax return have already registered and received a payment," IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig said in a statement.

"We're taking this extra step to help Americans who may not know they could be eligible for this payment or don't know how to register for one. People who aren't required to file a tax return can quickly register on IRS.gov and still get their money this year."

Newsweek reached out to the U.S. Treasury Department for further information. This story will be updated with any response.

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A letter bearing the signature of U.S. President Donald Trump was sent to people who received a coronavirus economic stimulus payment as part of the Cares Act April 29, 2020 in Washington, DC. Chip Somodevilla/Getty