Here’s some good news for veterans receiving VA compensation and pension benefits: The IRS is giving them a second chance to claim the additional $500-per-child stimulus check payment authorized by the CARES Act.
Eligible veterans receiving VA benefits who didn’t file a 2018 or 2019 tax return should have automatically received a $1,200 stimulus payment earlier this year. However, if they have (or care for) dependent children 16 years old or younger, they had to go online and use the IRS’s “Non-Filers: Enter Your Payment Info Here” tool to get the extra $500 per child that’s allowed under the CARES Act.
But there was a condition attached – they had to use the tool by May 5, 2020, to have the additional amount included in their stimulus check payment. Unfortunately, many veterans with dependent children missed the deadline and didn’t get the extra $500.
September 30 is the New Deadline
The IRS is reopening registration for the extra $500-per-dependent-child payment for veterans who didn’t file a 2018 or 2019 tax return. They will now have from August 15 to September 30, 2020, to use the Non-Filers tool to provide the necessary information about their children. Anyone who misses the new September 30 deadline will need to wait until next year and claim the $500 as a credit on their 2020 federal tax return. (The new deadline applies to certain Social Security recipients, too.)
The IRS says the extra $500 payments will be issued by mid-October. For veterans who received their original $1,200 payment by direct deposit, the additional payment for dependent children will also be directly deposited into the same account. Otherwise, a paper check will be sent.
You can check the status of your payments using the IRS’s online Get My Payment tool. A notice verifying the $500-per-child additional payment will also be sent to you. You should keep that notice with your other tax records.
Anyone who filed or plans to file either a 2018 or 2019 tax return should file the tax return and not use the tool. Also, if you already used the Non-Filers tool to provide information on your children, no further action is needed – the IRS will automatically make payment in October.
What If You Don’t Want to Enter Personal Information Online?
If you don’t want to use the Non-Filers tool or are unable to access it, you can submit a “simplified paper return” instead (see How to Get a Stimulus Check if You Don’t File a Tax Return for details).
You can also use the tool to enter the required information and then print and mail in the document. Just make sure that “EIP 2020” is at the top of the printed document and, in column (4) of the section for “Dependents,” check “Child tax credit” for each qualifying child you claim. Mail the printed document to the IRS address where you would file your federal tax return.
Other Non-Filers Can Still Get a Stimulus Check
Other people who are not required to file a tax return can still use the Non-Filers tool to sign up for a stimulus check – but they need to act by October 15 to receive a payment this year. Anyone who misses the October 15 deadline will have to wait until next year and claim it as a credit on their 2020 tax return.
The Non-Filers tool is designed for married couples with income below $24,400 and singles with income under $12,200. These people are generally not required to file a tax return. However, low- and moderate-income workers planning to claim the earned income tax credit or child tax credit can’t use the tool, since they have to file a regular return to get these tax breaks.