IRS Alerts Millions of Americans They Are Owed COVID Payments


The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has alerted millions of low-income American families that they are owed COVID-19-era payments.
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On Thursday, October 13, the tax agency announced that it will send letters to approximately nine million people who seem to be eligible for relief checks but never claimed them.

In an official statement, IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said:

"The IRS wants to remind potentially eligible people, especially families, that they may qualify for these valuable tax credits. We encourage people who haven't filed a tax return yet for 2021 to review these options. Even if they aren't required to file a tax return, they may still qualify for several important credits. We don't want people to overlook these tax credits, and the letters will remind people of their potential eligibility and steps they can take."

The agency expects the special reminder letters to arrive in mailboxes across the country over the next several weeks. These notices will be sent to people who appear to qualify for the Child Tax Credit (CTC), Recovery Rebate Credit (RRC) or Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) but haven't yet filed a 2021 return yet.

To assist these low-income households in filing their returns, the IRS confirmed that its Free File system -- which is available to those with incomes of $73,000 or less -- will remain open for an additional month, until November 17, 2022.

There is an ongoing effort to improve the government-sponsored Free File system.

Following the passing of Democrats' Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 -- which President Biden signed into law on August 16 -- Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen gave the IRS a six-month deadline to present a "modernization plan."
Credit: Pgiam (Getty Images)

The Inflation Reduction Act provides the tax agency with $80 billion in additional funding and resources to hire 87,000 new employees.

Last month, The Washington Post shared that $15 million of this $80 billion boon is earmarked for the development of a new government-backed free file platform that is intended to rival TurboTax and other tax preparation software options.

The Free File portal can be found here. If you need assistance filing your taxes, match with a local expert today.

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