Economic Impact Payments Are Making a Difference Get to know the IRS, its people and the issues that affect taxpayers By Chuck Rettig | October 9, 2020 One of my goals as IRS Commissioner has been to ensure everyone understands the importance of the IRS to our great nation, and the dedication of our workforce in serving our citizens. I can think of no better example than our agency’s swift action in support of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). I am extremely proud of employees who worked around the clock to provide Economic Impact Payments (EIPs), ensuring fiscal relief to people affected by the pandemic. The CARES Act provided for a payment of $1,200 to each eligible individual and $500 for dependent children under the age of 17. The dedication of our workforce has resulted in the IRS sending more than 160 million stimulus payments totaling approximately $270 billion to eligible individuals with at least 98% accuracy on the amount received. Most people didn’t need to take any action to receive a payment because we calculated and automatically sent the payments to those for whom we had information on file. Unlike previous stimulus efforts, recipients of these payments included many people who may not normally file a tax return, such as senior citizens and others receiving benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA); Supplemental Security (SSI) Income payment recipients; and those receiving benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Issuing Economic Impact Payments involved numerous challenges due to the wide range of circumstances for individuals eligible to receive the payments. However, IRS programmers worked diligently to factor in as many taxpayer situations as possible to compute correct payment amounts with the overriding goal of getting these payments issued as quickly as possible. In the end, we were able to put payments in the hands of individuals quicker than any previous stimulus effort. Millions of Americans started seeing Economic Impact Payments show up in their banking accounts within 14 days after the CARES Act was enacted. By comparison, in 2008, the first payments did not start reaching taxpayers for 75 days. While the vast majority of eligible individuals received their payment quickly and accurately, we know that our work is not done. We’ve received feedback from people with missing or incomplete payments and we’ve been taking action on many fronts. A great example of that is keeping our special Non-Filers tool open even longer. We’ve extended the deadline by five weeks, so people now have until Nov. 21 to register using the Non-filers tool. Our goal in taking these steps is to make sure everyone who is eligible for an Economic Impact Payment receives one – whether it’s this year or when they file their 2020 tax return in early 2021 Help spread the word about the Nov. 21 deadline for people who normally don’t file a tax return I also have an important request for everyone. We still have several million people eligible for Economic Impact Payments who don’t normally file a tax return. They may not realize they’re eligible, and we do not have their information at the IRS. We cannot process payments to people we are unable to identify. Help us help others: We urge everyone to share information to these groups. A quick visit to the Non-Filers tool on IRS.gov before the Nov. 21 deadline will allow them to receive a payment. We have a special page on IRS.gov for the thousands of organizations helping us with this outreach effort. To get the word out about these payments, the IRS has been conducting a sweeping outreach and education campaign for months– one of the biggest campaigns we’ve ever done -- to help people understand their eligibility. We are especially concerned about getting payments out to people who don’t normally file a return and don’t receive federal benefits. To make sure these non-filers register for payments, we have been reaching out beyond our normal contacts to many lower-income, military, veterans, retired, older, limited English proficient and homeless communities around the country – in multiple languages. I’ve pitched in directly myself to help contact groups and am hopeful that you’ll do the same, as often as you can before the Nov. 21 deadline. We’ve also taken an additional step with a mailing to nearly 9 million people who we think could be eligible for the payments but aren’t normally required to file a tax return. We urge these people to visit our Non-Filers tool so they can quickly register for a payment. And if they miss the Nov. 21 deadline, they can still claim this by filing a 2020 tax return early next year. IRS employees: Working to help now and during the 2021 tax season IRS employees have worked diligently to meet the numerous challenges brought on by COVID-19. We implemented telework where possible and exercised best efforts to continue our core missions while our employees shared the same health and safety concerns as every other American. We started reopening our operations in early June, using limited and socially distanced resources while prioritizing processing of Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) claims and refunds, paper returns and correspondence, and issues relating to EIPs. I’m grateful for all the help and support we’ve received on the Economic Impact Payments. The IRS will continue working to do everything we can during this difficult period. I appreciate the hard work of our dedicated workforce, and the support from our partners across the country inside and outside the tax community to help deliver these critical payments to the nation’s taxpayers. Chuck Rettig IRS Commissioner About the Author Chuck Rettig is the 49th Commissioner of the IRS. As Commissioner, Rettig presides over the nation’s tax system, which collects more than $3.5 trillion in tax revenue each year. This revenue funds most government operations and public services. He manages an agency of about 80,000 employees and a budget of approximately $11 billion. In leading the IRS, Rettig is focused on improving service to the nation’s taxpayers, balancing appropriate enforcement of the nation’s tax laws while respecting taxpayer rights. Related Content Coronavirus Tax Relief and Economic Impact Payments Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here Get My Payment Subscribe The IRS offers several e-News subscriptions on a variety of tax topics. 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