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COVID Stimulus Help goes Unclaimed

IRS says thousands of Oregonians may still qualify

9/21/2020, 3:57 p.m.
People who make too little or no money to file for income taxes may not know they qualify for the ...
More than 130,000 Oregonians will receive a special mailing this month from the IRS encouraging them to see if they’re eligible to claim an Economic Impact Payment. (AP photo)

People who make too little or no money to file for income taxes, individuals who are homeless or transient, for example, may not know they qualify for the $1,200 in stimulus checks that went out last spring to help people adjust to the economic turmoil brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

In order to claim the Economic Impact Payment before an Oct. 15 deadline, the IRS announced Monday it will be mailing letters to more than 130,000 Oregonians who haven’t filed a return for either 2018 or 2019, encouraging them to see if they’re eligible.

The letter urges potential recipients to visit the special Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info tool on IRS.gov/coronavirus to register for the payment. They might also get an additional $500 for each qualifying child.

The IRS cautions that receiving a letter is not a guarantee of eligibility and people who are eligible should not wait to receive a letter and should file right away.

Officials said an individual is likely to qualify for the Economic Impact Payment if they are a U.S. citizen or resident alien, have a work-eligible Social Security number and can’t be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s federal income tax return. People who get veterans or railroad retirement, Social Security Income or Social Security benefits also qualify.

The letter urges the recipient to register at IRS.gov by Oct. 15 in order to receive a payment by the end of the year. Alternatively, people can wait until next year and claim the recovery rebate credit on their 2020 tax return, officials said.