Legal Lens: Making sure people get their COVID relief check

Legal Lens

The Brown & Crouppen Legal Lens takes a closer look at everyday legal issues and gives you a better understanding of topics that may affect you.

ST. LOUIS – Most people who are eligible have already received their economic stimulus check. But that doesn’t include everyone. As the IRS processes 2020 tax returns, it is also sending new $1,400 stimulus payments to those people it did not previously have on record.

“If you haven’t filed tax returns, you still can. There is lots of money out there that people can claim because it’s tied to the tax return,” said Andrea McNairy, managing attorney at Brown & Crouppen. “So even if you don’t normally file (a return) you still might be able to get a stimulus check.”

McNairy said she’s still talking with people who are looking to get stimulus checks.

“What we see is people who are homeless or people who have federal beneficiaries, they do not receive benefits, and other people who are retired and for whatever, if you do file your return every year, you automatically get your stimulus check,” she said.

People in underserved populations may have not received a stimulus check because they don’t file a tax return, McNairy said. However, they are still entitled to a check.

“The IRS offers things for this part of the population. If you do not file a tax return, they are still encouraging people to file one. And there are free services if your income is under $57,000 or no income,” McNairy said. “There are tax free services that will help you with your taxes online, in person, and on your phone. And if you want to expedite your payment, you can open a bank account with your mobile phone just to receive your check. There are free services for people who don’t normally file taxes just to help them get their stimulus check.”

As with other people who do not typically file tax returns, they may be eligible to use the IRS’ Free File Program or qualify for other in-person tax assistance.

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