Many college students may still qualify for an Economic Impact Payment; Review the guidelines and register by Nov. 21 at IRS.gov

November 5, 2020

IRS

The Internal Revenue Service today urged any eligible self-supporting college student who doesn’t need to file a tax return to register by Nov. 21 so they can receive an Economic Impact Payment before the end of the year.

In advance of the National EIP Registration Day on Nov. 10 and highlighted in “A Closer Look,” the IRS is reminding people who don’t normally file a tax return they may be able to register for an Economic Impact Payment with a quick visit to the Non-Filers tool on IRS.gov. In particular, the IRS wants to remind self-supporting students with little or no income that they may be eligible for payments of $1,200 or more.

“The IRS is working hard with our partners across the country to raise awareness about the upcoming deadline to register for a payment,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “College students in particular should be careful not to overlook these payments if they’re supporting themselves and can’t be claimed as a dependent on someone’s tax returns. A few minutes of research could really help students.”

While most eligible individuals automatically received their Economic Impact Payment, others who don’t have a filing obligation can only get their money by registering online with the IRS. The only way to do that is to use the Non-Filers tool, available exclusively on IRS.gov. Those eligible to use the tool can include people who receive little or no income, including many self-supporting students.

The IRS emphasized that only self-supporting students who are not required to file a tax return should use the Non-Filers tool. Dependent students do not qualify. This means that any student who is claimed as a dependent by their parents or someone else cannot get a payment.

Students who either need to or want to file a regular return should not use the Non-Filers tool. This includes, for example, any student who had federal income tax withheld from their pay and wants to file a return to claim a refund. The IRS reminds students who have summer jobs or part-time positions not to overlook filing a tax return so they can receive a potential federal tax refund.

Since the Non-Filers tool launched in the spring, over 8 million people have used it to register for a payment. But time is running out, and the IRS urges any eligible student to register soon, ahead of the Nov. 21 registration deadline. Anyone who misses the Nov. 21 cutoff will need to wait until next year and instead claim the Recovery Rebate Credit when they file their 2020 federal income tax return.

Some recent college graduates from 2019 and 2020 may not have received an Economic Impact Payment because they were claimed as a dependent by their parents or someone else. The IRS reminds these graduates they may be eligible for the Economic Impact Payments when they file their 2020 tax return in early 2021.

Anyone using the Non-Filers tool can speed up the arrival of their payment by choosing to receive it by direct deposit. Those not choosing this option will get a check.

The Non-Filers tool is designed for people with incomes typically below $24,400 for married
couples, and $12,200 for singles who could not be claimed as a dependent by someone else. This includes couples and individuals who are experiencing homelessness and students.

Beginning two weeks after they register, people can track the status of their payment using the Get My Payment tool, available only on IRS.gov.

Normally, a self-supporting student who registers will receive a $1,200 payment if they are single or $2,400 if married and file a joint return. If they have dependent children, they will normally also get an additional $500 for each qualifying child.

Visit IRS.gov and “A Closer Look” to find out more.
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