More than 567,000 Floridians are among the estimated 9 million Americans who don’t regularly file taxes and still have not received their pandemic stimulus checks from the federal government.
Those $1,200 checks, plus $500 for dependent children 16 or younger, were made available to all Americans whose income is less than $75,000 if they are single or married filing separately, or $150,000 if they are married filing jointly, as long as no one can claim them as a dependent on their tax return.
Around 160 million Americans received their checks earlier this year.
People who have not received their stimulus check and need to apply online are non-filers, meaning they were not required to file a tax return in 2019. The IRS has extended the deadline for those non-filers to register for the economic impact payments (EIP) until Nov. 21.
Non-filers can register for the EIP online at IRS.gov or over the phone by calling the IRS at 1-800-919-9835.
“This financial help can make a significant difference for individuals and families facing financial difficulty due to COVID-19,” said Glorian Maziarka, an attorney with Three Rivers Legal Services in Jacksonville.
Maziarka said she’s been getting a lot of calls from people who have been struggling with the registration process, which is why Three Rivers has launched an education campaign and is offering to help those who are struggling with the process. The service is free for those who qualify.
“Through this campaign, we want people to know that financial help is available and encourage them to fill out the non-filers form online,” she said.
Locals who need help can reach the Three Rivers Legal Services Helpline at 1-866-256-8091 or call the United Way’s 211 hotline.
If an individual misses the Nov. 21 deadline to file using the non-filer tool, they will not get their stimulus check as an advanced payment, according to LaKesha Thomas, Director of the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic at Three Rivers Legal Services.
“Instead they will have to file a 2020 federal income tax return and claim a credit for the EIP there,” she said.