Less than 2 weeks remain to collect $1,200 COVID-19 stimulus check

The clock is ticking down to claim COVID-19 stimulus checks. Less than two weeks remain for Americans to register with the Internal Revenue Service site to collect a federal relief payment, if they haven’t already.

The fast-approaching deadline, Nov. 21, is for those who have not yet received a $1,200 stimulus check but still may qualify.

According to the IRS, self-supporting college students, individuals who receive little or no income, and those who don’t normally file a tax return may be among people who still qualify for a Economic Income Payment (EIP).

"The IRS is working hard with our partners across the country to raise awareness about the upcoming deadline to register for a payment," said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. "College students in particular should be careful not to overlook these payments if they're supporting themselves and can't be claimed as a dependent on someone's tax returns. A few minutes of research could really help students."

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The IRS emphasized that dependent students — those who are claimed as a dependent by their parents or someone else — do not qualify for the stimulus check.

The payments, which were part of the CARES Act passed in March, offer up to $1,200 for individuals and up to $2,400 for married couples. People with children under age 17 at the end of 2019 can get up to an additional $500 for each child.

Anyone who misses the Nov. 21 cutoff date will need to wait until next year and “instead claim the Recovery Rebate Credit when they file their 2020 federal income tax return,” the IRS noted.

Individuals may also be able to use the IRS’ “Non-Filers tool” to register their information.

“The Non-Filers tool is designed for people with incomes typically below $24,400 for married couples, and $12,200 for singles who could not be claimed as a dependent by someone else. This includes couples and individuals who are experiencing homelessness and students,” the IRS wrote.

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Two weeks after registering, the IRS said people can track the status of their payment using the “Get My Payment” tool on their website.

Choosing to receive payment by direct deposit will speed up its arrival. Those not choosing that option will get a paper check.

In September, the IRS notified roughly 9 million Americans who had yet to collect their $1,200 stimulus payments that their checks were available. At that time, the IRS also announced that it had mailed letters to people who did not file a return for either 2018 or 2019, but still may qualify for an Economic Impact Payment.

“The IRS continues to work hard to reach people eligible for these payments," Rettig said. "These mailings are the latest step by the IRS to reach as many people as possible for these important payments."

National EIP Registration Day is on Tuesday, Nov. 10.