Taxpayers with a filing requirement must file a tax return to get an Economic Impact Payment

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COVID Tax Tip 2020-45, April 23, 2020

While most eligible taxpayers don't need to take any action to receive an Economic Impact Payment, some people will. This includes those who are required to file and haven't filed a tax return for either 2018 or 2019.

Here are some facts for eligible taxpayers who need to – and haven't - filed a tax return for 2018 or 2019.

  • Eligible taxpayers with a filing requirement who haven't filed a tax return for 2018 or 2019 must file for 2019 to get an Economic Impact Payment.
  • Taxpayers should file electronically and include direct deposit information to get their Economic Impact Payments faster.
  • The $1,200 payments will automatically be sent to those who receive Social Security, railroad retirement or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI and SSI) and veteran's benefits but, don't normally file a tax return. However, to add the $500 per eligible child amount to these payments, the IRS needs the dependent information before the payments are issued. Otherwise, their payment at this time will be $1,200 and, by law, the additional $500 per eligible child amount would be paid in association with a return filing for tax year 2020.
  • Other people who don't normally file – including those with low income or no income – should use the Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here tool to give the IRS basic information so they can their payment as soon as possible.

Questions? The IRS is regularly updating the Economic Impact Payment and the Get My Payment tool frequently asked questions pages on as more information becomes available.

Taxpayers concerned about visiting a tax professional or community organization for help with their taxes should remember the payments will be available throughout the rest of 2020.

The IRS encourages taxpayers to share this information with family and friends. Some people who normally don't file a tax return may not realize they're eligible for an Economic Impact Payment.

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