If you’re owed $500 for your dependents, you’ll need to act quickly to get the money.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (also known as the CARES Act) authorized payments of $1,200 for each adult and $500 per dependent child under age 17. Most Americans were entitled to this money. It was the IRS’s responsibility to distribute these funds.
Unfortunately, some people didn’t receive the stimulus check for their dependents. If that’s you — it’s not too late to claim your payment, but you’ll need to act soon.
How did this happen? From the beginning, the IRS didn’t have information about everyone who should receive a coronavirus stimulus payment. The agency obtained details about taxpayers and their dependents from tax returns filed in 2018 and 2019. However, not everyone files a return. Many people who receive Social Security benefits, railroad retirement benefits, and pension benefits don’t have to submit annual 1040 forms.
Fortunately, the IRS was able to obtain information for recipients of these benefits. They could send stimulus payments even if individuals did not file a tax return in either of the two key years. But unfortunately, the details the Social Security Administration or VA provided did not include any information about dependents.
That means many individuals received their own payment, but not the one due for any children they were entitled to get money for.
The IRS is now trying to ensure beneficiaries of Social Security, veterans benefits, or railroad retirement benefits can get their dependent payments. To do this, however, those beneficiaries need to fill out the form the agency has made available — and they must do it by tomorrow, Sept. 30, 2020.