Tax guide

Do I have to file my 2019 tax return in order to get a stimulus payment?

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If you haven’t filed your 2019 taxes, the IRS will use the adjusted gross income (AGI) from your 2018 tax return. If you haven’t filed in either year but were required to file, you should either file your 2018 or 2019 return as soon as possible.

If you collect certain government benefits but haven’t filed in either year because you are usually not required to file, the IRS will coordinate with the appropriate organization to know where to send your Economic Impact Payment. This group includes:

  • Social Security recipients
  • Railroad Retirement recipients
  • Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) recipients
  • VA benefit recipients
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients

You’ll receive your EIP as you would normally receive your benefits, either through direct deposit or by paper check. To receive the $500 stimulus payment per child as part of your initial payment, you must use the Non-Filers tool. SS, RR, and SSDI recipients must act before Wednesday, April 22 at noon Eastern time; SSI and VA recipients have until May 5 because their payments won’t go out until later. In both cases, if you don’t register on time, you should be able to claim the additional $500 per child by filing a 2020 tax return next year.

For those who didn’t file a tax return in 2018 or 2019 and don’t receive any of the benefits listed above, the IRS has released the Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info tool so you can register for your Economic Impact Payment.

 

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