October 29, 2020
If you missed the deadline to claim your $500 stimulus check from the IRS, here's what to do now

If you missed the deadline to claim your $500 stimulus check from the IRS, here’s what to do now


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You can still get your missing $500 stimulus payment for child dependents.


Angela Lang/CNET

You may have missed the boat to claim your missing $500 payment for your dependents from the first round of stimulus checks — Sept. 30 was the last day to file to receive it this year. However, you can still get your payment in 2021.

Ideally, you should have received the $500 sum with your stimulus check the IRS sent out in the spring. If you’re unsure how much money you’re owed, try CNET’s stimulus check calculator and your adjusted gross income to work out an estimate. If the size of the check you received doesn’t seem as big as expected, you may need to request a catch-up payment. (If you’re curious, this is how the IRS calculates the size of your stimulus payment.)

Read on for what to do if you missed the Sept. 30 deadline. And as for a new stimulus check, here’s what’s happening with negotiations on another stimulus package right now. We update this story often.


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What if I missed the Sept. 30 deadline?

The deadline to file for your missing $500 stimulus money was Sept. 30, but you can still get your payment. When you file your taxes in 2021, you can claim the additional amount on behalf of eligible dependents. The IRS will use either your 2019 or 2018 tax return to determine how much you’re owed and is expected to post instructions online closer to tax season next year. 

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You can either have the check sent to you or have it deposited in your account.


Sarah Tew/CNET

When will the IRS send my $500 catch-up payment?

The IRS says it will begin issuing checks this month for those who met the application deadline. However, if you missed the Sept. 30 deadline, your check will be included on your 2020 tax return, in 2021.

If you’d like more information, you’ll be able to track the status of your IRS payment by visiting the IRS Get My Payment webpage. From there, you’ll need to provide your Social Security number, date of birth, home address and ZIP code.

Am I eligible for the first stimulus payment?

To be eligible, you must be a US citizen, a permanent resident or a qualifying “resident alien.” You must also have a valid Social Security number, can’t be claimed as a dependent of another taxpayer and must have an adjusted gross income under $146,500 (heads of household) or $198,000 (married couples filing jointly).

The CARES Act stipulates a $500 allowance per child dependent in addition to the $1,200 cap for single filers and up to $2,400 for couples filing jointly. (We’ve calculated how much money you might be able to get if rules about dependents change for a second stimulus check.)

Here’s how the IRS defines a child dependent — there may be specific details you’ll want to explore if your child dependent is adopted, disabled (of any age) or a citizen of another country. Here’s how the IRS defines an adult eligible to receive their own check.

For more information about stimulus payments, here’s how fast the IRS could send out a second stimulus payment if it passes. And if you still haven’t received your stimulus check and you think it’s lost or missing, try this IRS phone number to file a report.



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