Personal Finance

IRS to send catch-up payments for missing stimulus checks

Key Points
  • As the government rushed out stimulus checks to millions of Americans this spring, some were disappointed to find the payments fell short of what they expected.
  • Now, the IRS is making catch-up payments. This week, it added 50,000 people who had money withheld because of their spouse's unpaid child support to the list of people who will get catch-up payments.
  • Other families who were also expecting more money, specifically for their dependent children, may also be able to receive those funds this year.
Images By Tang Ming Tung

Some Americans who are still waiting for their $1,200 coronavirus stimulus payments may be relieved to know their checks will soon be in the mail.

The IRS announced this week that 50,000 people will receive catch-up payments for money that was withheld due to their spouse's past-due child support.

Catch-up payments are set to go to those individuals beginning in early to mid-September, the federal tax agency said.

The $1,200 stimulus checks were authorized by Congress with CARES Act in March. The one-time payments called for up to $1,200 for individuals or $2,400 for married couples who file jointly, plus $500 per child under age 17.

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Beacause the payments were targeted at low- to middle-income Americans, individuals and families had to meet certain income limits in order to qualify.

There were also other exclusions that shut some people out. That included those who owe past-due child support.

Now, people who had money withheld due to their spouse's unpaid child support will receive that portion of their payment automatically. The money will be issued to those who have filled out Form 8379 and submitted it along with either their 2019 or 2018 tax returns.

Those who were affected but did not submit paperwork do not need to take further action, the IRS said. The agency will automatically issue catch-up payments to those individuals, though the timing on that is still to be determined.

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The catch-up payments mark the latest efforts by the IRS to get missing money to Americans who are still waiting on the stimulus checks. The government rushed out millions of payments this spring. But glitches prevented some people from receiving the full amount for which they were entitled.

Other Americans received payments that fell short because the $500 for their children was not included.

The IRS has also started to correct those situations in recent weeks.

Americans who receive federal benefits who did not get those dependent payments for eligible children can now submit their information in order to receive that money through the IRS non-filer tool.

That includes Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, Railroad Retirement and Veterans Affairs Compensation and Pension beneficiaries. The deadline to submit information is Sept. 30 in order to get the money this year. Beneficiaries who used the non-filer tool after May 5 do not need to take further action.

Other individuals and families may also have received stimulus checks that fell short on the $500 dependent payments. The IRS began sending out the missing money earlier this month to those families who filled out the non-filer tool before May 17.

Americans who still have not received their stimulus checks and who do not typically file tax returns can also use the non-filer tool to submit their information. But they must do so by Oct. 15 in order to get their money this year.

Those who do not get the money for which they are eligible this year will receive a credit when they file their 2020 tax return next spring.