Nearly 9 million Americans haven’t received their stimulus checks

Generally, the main reason people don't file taxes is because they have gross income below a certain amount and do not need to file a tax return.
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Courtesy: ABC News

While the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service have tried to smooth out some of the flaws in the stimulus check program, the agencies still “lack updated information on how many eligible recipients have yet to receive these funds,” GAO found in its report Monday, and it’s estimated that “potentially millions of individuals” are still “at risk of missing their payment.”

The biggest demographic affected, GAO found, is Americans who don’t file taxes and, as a result, didn’t have information registered with the IRS about how much money they make per year, which would qualify them for the $1,200 one-time payment granted to a majority of Americans by the CARES Act. Generally, the main reason people don’t file taxes is because they have gross income below a certain amount and do not need to file a tax return.

While more than 26 million Americans who don’t file taxes did receive a payment, including over five million Americans who followed guidance from the IRS and registered online to receive a stimulus check, there are still an estimated 8.7 million or more Americans who are eligible but haven’t been identified by the IRS, the GAO report found.

It’s likely the people who need it most who haven’t received it, since Americans who don’t file taxes are likely to be very low-income, the report said.

There are also 1.1 million Americans who were underpaid, the GAO report found. These Americans are mostly people in need: around 355,000 non-filers with children who never got their qualifying payment of an extra $500 per child; domestic abuse survivors who don’t have access to the bank account that the check was deposited to and nearly 700,000 widows who never received a payment because their spouse died.

“GAO recommends that Treasury, in coordination with IRS, update and refine the estimate of eligible recipients who have yet to file for an EIP to help target outreach and communications efforts,” the report advised.

Categories: Coronavirus, US & World