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Update on Stimulus: Around 10 Million People Owed COVID Relief: Are You One of Them?

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Almost 165 million Americans acquired financial assistance from government stimulus programs implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic, but many have still not collected their payments yet, and the period of opportunity to claim, is closing. According to a report issued this week by the Government Accounting Office, around 9 to 10 million people have still not received their payouts, considering the fact, they were previously distributed over two years ago.

Taxpayers who failed to file their taxes by the deadline of 15 April 2022 have till 17 October 2022, to do so and receive any unpaid stimulus funds. The final deadline for claiming your stimulus payment is 15 November 2022, if you don’t have enough income to have filed income taxes. In this situation, all you’ll need to do to receive your payout is fill out a simple tax return.

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The U.S. government provided Americans with 3 separate direct COVID-19 stimulus payments totaling $931 billion between April 2020 to December 2021. Most recipients of these payouts were Americans with annual salaries under $75,000 or married couples with combined incomes under $150,000. The Child Tax Credit was also extended by the government to cover more families and increase the payment amount.

Yet, processing and distributing the payouts proved to be quite difficult for the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) and the US Treasury Department, resulting in millions of Americans still haven’t received their payments in full. Many outreach programs have been started by the IRS and Treasury Department to track down Americans who have not received their stimulus funds yet, but the effort has been hampered by ongoing customer service challenges.

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The IRS will receive the largest funding boost in decades as part of a recent spending agreement approved by Congress, according to The Hill. The IRS will receive $80 billion over the next 10 years. In total, about $33 billion will be used for operational support, system modernization, and payer services.

The GAO (Government Accountability Office) recommends visiting these IRS pages: irs.gov/coronavirus/EIP and ChildTaxCredit.gov: to obtain instructions on how to fill out and file a tax return if you think you still owed a stimulus payment.