Millions of people in this population would be eligible to receive the $1,400 payment, but the IRS does not currently have information on these potential recipients on file.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) this week called on homeless individuals to submit their information to the agency in order to process their third $1,400 stimulus check.
Locating these recipients has been one of the IRS’s biggest challenges since the first economic stimulus law passed (CARES). Since these individuals are not required to file taxes precisely because of low or no income, the office does not have information on many of these Americans on file.
Paradoxically, laws such as the “American Rescue Plan” seek primarily to economically impact the most vulnerable Americans in the face of the pandemic such as the homeless.
Another issue that complicates locating the members of this population is precisely the fact that most of them do not have a stable living space.
In that sense, the IRS urged the groups and entities that serve this population to reinforce, to the extent possible, their efforts to help these people claim the payment.
“While these economic impact payments continue to be made automatically to most individuals, the IRS cannot issue a payment to eligible Americans when information about them is not available in the tax agency’s systems,” read a statement Thursday from the IRS.
“To help the homeless, the rural poor and other historically underserved groups, the IRS urges community groups, employers and others to share information about economic impact payments and help more eligible people file a tax return so they can receive all they are entitled to. IRS.gov has a variety of information and tools to help people receive economic impact payments,” the IRS.gov press release adds.
According to the agency, its staff has been working directly with groups inside and outside the tax community to get information out to homeless people about eligibility for the third $1,400 stimulus check.
Members of this group may still qualify for the first two economic impact payments when they file their 2020 return and claim the Refund Recovery Credit. There is a special section on IRS.gov that can help: Claim the 2020 Refund Recovery Rebate Credit if you are not required to file a tax return.
For the current third round of payments, homeless individuals generally qualify for the $1,400. If they are married or have dependents, they are also eligible for the same amount of an additional $1,400 for each dependent.
IRS does not require a permanent address
The IRS clarified that these individuals can claim an economic impact payment or other credits even if they do not have a permanent address. “For example, a homeless person can include the address of a trusted friend, relative, or service provider, such as a shelter, walk-in day center, or transitional housing program, on the return filed with the IRS. If they cannot choose direct deposit, a check or debit card for the tax refund and third economic impact payment can be mailed to this address,” the IRS explained.