Stimulus update: IRS urges homeless, poor to file tax return to get stimulus check

The Internal Revenue Service is reminding homeless people and lower-income earners that they are eligible to receive an American Rescue Plan stimulus payment, even if they do not have a permanent address or bank account.

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The agency is urging community groups and employers to spread the word about eligibility for stimulus payments to people who are homeless, rural lower-income earners, or part of historically underserved groups, and to help them file a tax return so the IRS can get information to process $1,400 stimulus checks to deliver to them.

“The IRS has been continuing to work directly with groups inside and outside the tax community to get information directly to people experiencing homelessness and other groups to help them receive Economic Impact Payments,” said Chuck Rettig, the commissioner of the IRS.

“The IRS is working hard on this effort, enabling millions of people who don’t normally file a tax return to receive these payments. But we need to do more, and we appreciate all the help we’ve been receiving from national and local groups to assist in this effort to reach the people who desperately need this help.”

Under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, a person can get a $1,400 payment for themselves, and one for each of their dependents, if their adjusted gross income is:

  • Less than $75,000 for individual filers
  • Less than $112,500 for those filing as head of household
  • Less than $150,000 for couples filing jointly

The IRS reminds those looking for payments that they are eligible if they meet the income requirements, have a Social Security number and are not being supported by someone else who can claim them as a dependent.

The agency needs information from people who don’t usually file a tax return — even if they did not have any income last year or their income was not large enough to require them to file in order to process payments.

People do not need a permanent address, a bank account or a job to get a payment, the agency said in a news release on its website.

If someone is homeless he or she can “list the address of a friend, relative or trusted service provider, such as a shelter, drop-in day center or transitional housing program, on the (tax) return filed with the IRS” in order to get a payment mailed to them.

If you did not get the first two stimulus payments sent last year, you can still qualify for them if you file a 2020 return by claiming the Recovery Rebate Credit. You can go to Claiming the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit if you aren’t required to file a tax return for more information.

If you do not have a bank account but want your check deposited into a bank, the agency suggests that you visit the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) website for details on opening an account online. Directions are available in both English and Spanish.

For veterans, contact the Veterans Benefits Banking Program (VBBP) for access to financial services at participating banks.

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