New IRS Website to Help Tax Non-Filers Get Stimulus Still Excludes Unbanked

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This May 8, 2008, file photo shows blank checks on an idle press at the Philadelphia Regional Financial Center, which disburses payments on behalf of federal agencies, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
April 10, 2020
The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service have launched a website for Americans who didn’t file their taxes for 2018 or 2019 to submit their bank account information so they can receive their coronavirus stimulus check. 
The website, created in partnership with TurboTax parent Intuit, requests full names and social security numbers of the individual as well as spouses and dependents, mailing addresses and bank account and routing numbers.
The IRS is also developing a separate online portal for those who filed their taxes but didn’t provide bank account information, which it plans to launch later in April. It will also allow users to track the status of their payment.
Social Security recipients who didn’t file a tax return in 2018 or 2019 need not take additional action as their payment will be made in the same way they receive their social security payments.
The Treasury began making promises at the beginning of the month that the “overwhelming majority of eligible Americans” would receive their stimulus checks within three weeks. 
Still, the solution excludes the 8.4 million U.S. households, including 14.1 million adults, who don’t have bank accounts. For them, it could take weeks or even months for a paper check to arrive in the mail. Aaron Klein, a fellow at the Brookings Institution, suggests the government could still be looking at sending 70 million paper checks.
The IRS received 156 million tax returns last year and issued refunds to about 112 million. Some 92 million received those refunds by direct deposit.
The new IRS portal also fails to account for the 21 million tax filers from last year that received a refund by direct deposit but didn’t provide their own bank account information to receive it, instead, creating a temporary bank account called a Refund Anticipation Check.
Not sure if you qualify for a stimulus check? Check out our guide here.
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