IRS says 9 million people haven’t claimed coronavirus checks

Stimulus payments are tax-free, but unemployment benefits are taxed

The IRS says as many as 9 million Americans eligible for their coronavirus relief checks have yet to claim them.

On Tuesday, the federal agency said the unclaimed checks mostly pertain to people who usually don’t file a federal income tax return. Later this month, the IRS will start mailing letters to those who may be eligible for the checks.

“The IRS has made an unprecedented outreach effort to make sure people are aware of their potential eligibility for an Economic Impact Payment this year,” said Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “Millions who don’t normally file a tax return have already registered and received a payment. We are taking this extra step to help Americans who may not know they could be eligible for this payment or don’t know how to register for one. People who aren’t required to file a tax return can quickly register on IRS.gov and still get their money this year.”

The IRS said people have until Oct. 15 to register via the agency’s website to receive their payments by year’s end.

ExploreGa. to start distributing $1,800 in federal aid to jobless next week

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McConnell says next stimulus package aimed at ‘kids, jobs, healthcare’

Credit: AJC

On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said his party plans to introduce a “targeted” coronavirus relief package and will hold a vote on it this week.

McConnell’s announcement came on the heels of an Associated Press report that said hopes are dimming for another coronavirus relief bill. White House chief of staff Mark Meadows also told Bloomberg the administration is working with Senate Republicans to secure approval for a scaled-down economic stimulus plan.

ExploreGOP to introduce new coronavirus relief package this week, McConnell says

Talks between top Democrats and the Trump administration broke off last month and remain off track, with the bipartisan unity that drove almost $3 trillion in COVID-19 rescue legislation into law this spring.

Treasury Department sending some stimulus payments on debit cards

Expectations in July and August that a fifth bipartisan pandemic response bill would eventually be birthed despite increased obstacles has been replaced by genuine pessimism. Recent COVID-related conversations among key players have led to nothing.

Trump said Monday that Democrats “don’t want to make a deal because they think that if the country does as badly as possible ... that’s good for the Democrats.”

“I am taking the high road,” he told reporters at the White House. “I’m taking the high road by not seeing them.”

IRS updates tool to help track stimulus payments

All of this could imperil the chances for another round of $1,200 direct payments delivered under Trump’s name, the restoration of more generous unemployment benefits to those who’ve lost their jobs because of the pandemic, updates to a popular business subsidy program, and money to help schools reopen and states and local governments to avoid layoffs.

ExploreAJC's full coronavirus coverage

“I personally would like to see one more rescue package, but I must tell you the environment in Washington right now is exceedingly partisan because of the proximity to the election,” McConnell said last week. "We’ve been in discussion now for the last month or so with no results so far. So I can’t promise one final package.″

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