File a Simplified Paper Tax Return

Notice: Historical Content

This is an archival or historical document and may not reflect current law, policies or procedures.

If you don't typically file federal income taxes and you can't use our Non-Filers Enter Payment Info Here online tool, you can file a simplified paper tax return to get your Economic Impact Payment.

Who Can File

You can file a simplified paper tax return to get your payment only if all of these statements are true:

  • You haven't filed a tax return for 2019
  • You aren't required to file a tax return for 2019 – typically because your income is too low
  • You have a Social Security number that lets you work in the United States
  • You can't be claimed as someone else's dependent

When to File

You must file your simplified tax return by October 15, 2020, to get your Economic Impact Payment this year.

How to File

The first thing you need to do is download and print either Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, or, if you are over age 65, Form 1040-SR, U.S. Tax Return for Seniors.

To fill out the form and get your payment, follow these steps:

1. Write "EIP2020" on the top of your form.

Filing Status Section:

2. Check the filing status that applies to you. For help figuring that out, see our Interactive Tax Assistant.

3. Enter your name, mailing address, and Social Security number.

  • If you are married and you're filing a joint return for you and your spouse, you have to enter your Social Security number and your spouse's.
  • If you or your spouse was an active member of the U.S. Armed Forces any time in 2019, you need to enter one spouse's Social Security number. For the other spouse, you can enter either their Social Security number or their individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN).

Standard Deduction Section:

4. Check any of the boxes that apply to you (and your spouse, if you're filing jointly). Remember that if someone else can claim you as a dependent on their taxes, you don't qualify for an Economic Impact Payment.

Dependents section:

5. Enter the information for your children who qualify for the Economic Impact Payment. Your children only qualify for a payment if they were age 16 or younger on December 31, 2019, and if they lived with you for more than half of 2019.

The information you'll need is:

  • Your child's full name
  • Their Social Security number or Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number
  • Their relationship to you
  • In column 4, you will:
    • Check the "child tax credit" box if your child has a Social Security number
    • Check the "credit for other dependents" box if your child has an Adoption Taxpayer Identification number

Income and Tax sections (Lines 1-11):

6. Enter $1 on lines 2b, 7b, and 8b.

7. Enter $0.00 on line 11b.

8. Leave every other line in this section blank. 

Refund section:

9. If you want your payment deposited directly into your bank, put your bank account information in lines 21b through 21d. The account must be in the name of the filer who is receiving the Payment.

10. Leave the rest of this section blank.

Sign Here section:

11. Sign your name. If you are married and filing jointly, your spouse needs to sign, too. By signing, you are saying that everything on the form is true, and you will face a penalty if you have lied.

12. If you have an identity protection personal identification number (also called an IP PIN), enter it. If you don't have an IP PIN, you can leave that space blank.

13. In addition, a simplified return filer may enter the identifying information of any third-party designee, if applicable, at the bottom of page 2 of Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR.

Mail Your Simplified Tax Return:

14. Mail your completed form to the IRS. To find the IRS address:

  • Visit Where to File Addresses
  • Find where you live in column 1
  • Find the right IRS mailing address in column 2 under "And you ARE NOT enclosing a payment."

Remember, you have to mail your form by October 15, 2020, if you want to get your payment this year.