The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) said it will continue its ongoing effort to help those experiencing homelessness during the pandemic by reminding people who don’t have a permanent address or bank account that they may still qualify for Economic Impact Payments and other tax benefits.
To help people experiencing homelessness, the rural poor and other historically under-served groups, the IRS is urging community groups, employers and others to share information about Economic Impact Payments and help more eligible people file a tax return so they can receive what they are entitled to.
IRS commissioner Chuck Rettig said: “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.
“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.”
Economic Impact Payments, also known as stimulus payments, are different from most other tax benefits, as people can receive them even if they have little or no income or don’t usually file a tax return.
This is true as long as they have a Social Security number and are not being supported by someone else who can claim them as a dependent.
The IRS 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. The only way for the agency to have that information is for people to file a basic 2020 tax return with the IRS.
Once that return is processed, the IRS said it can quickly send stimulus payments to an address selected by the individual, adding that people do not need a permanent address or a bank account. They also don’t need to have a job. For eligible individuals, the IRS will still issue the payment even if they haven’t filed a tax return in years.
People in this group can still qualify for the first two Economic Impact Payments when they file their 2020 return by claiming the Recovery Rebate Credit. For the current third round of payments, people who are experiencing homelessness usually qualify to receive $1,400 for themselves. If they are married or have dependents, they can get an additional $1,400 for each of their family members.
Filing a 2020 federal income tax return that provides very basic information about the person is something that can be done electronically using a smartphone or a computer. When the IRS receives the return, it will automatically calculate and issue the Economic Impact Payments to eligible individuals.