Deadline Looms to Collect Missing Stimulus Payments


Image Source: Getty Images

Today is the day to make sure you get paid what you owe.

Most important points:

  • Thursday, November 17 is the deadline to file free tax returns.
  • Volunteers are available to assist with free tax filing.
  • More than 9 million people are eligible for unclaimed incentive funds.

If you open your mailbox to find a letter from the IRS, don’t panic. It’s probably good news. The IRS announced last month that it is trying to contact more than 9 million Americans who still owe incentive payments, extended Child Tax Credit payments or the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

The deadline to submit for free is with us

Because of everything that’s going on, the IRS has decided to keep its free filing tool open for an extra month this year. This means that you have until Thursday 17 November to submit your 2021 tax return for free and to receive any credits.

To remind: Even if you don’t normally need to file a tax return because of your income, you can go ahead and file to receive credits. If nothing else, it could help offset the impact of inflation.

Easy submission

According to the IRS, these are the steps to take if you don’t normally have to file taxes:

  • Go to
  • Select the “Choose a free IRS file offer” option. It’s the blue button.
  • Select “Browse all offers” and search for a product that does not require a minimum income.
  • Select the product that best meets your needs. You will be automatically redirected to that company’s website (don’t worry, they work hand-in-hand with the IRS).
  • Answer a series of questions.
  • Sign the declaration and submit it electronically.

If you don’t have access to a computer, you can even complete your tax return from a smartphone. It really is that easy.

Need more help?

If you’re still concerned that filing may be difficult, the IRS offers both Voluntary Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs. These are staffed by IRS-trained volunteers who can help you file your tax returns. And because they’re volunteers, you know they want to make sure you get all the financial benefits you deserve.

For military service members, eligible family members, and some veterans, filing through MilTax is also free. MilTax software walks you through the process, but if you find yourself needing additional help, there is an 800 number you can call.

How much money are we talking about?

If you wouldn’t walk past thousands of dollars lying in the street, why waste the money that’s due to you? These are funds that you could use to buy food, cover bills, or even put into a savings account. This is the kind of money we’re talking about:

Extended tax credit for children: Your credit can go up to $3,600 per child.

Earned Income Tax Credit:

Number of children

Credit up to…







3 or more


Data source: Belastingdienst.

Recovery discount credit (incentive check): The third stimulus payment was $1,400 for each eligible adult in your family, plus $1,400 for each eligible child or dependent adult. If you are a single taxpayer with an AGI of $75,000 or less, a householder with an AGI of $112,500 or less, or a married couple with an AGI of $150,000 or less, you owe the full amount.

If you earn more, the credit will be reduced. You can still receive a reduced amount of incentive funds.

To be clear, if you receive a refund, there is no IRS penalty for failing to file a tax return. However, if you owe a refund — even if it consists entirely of a tax credit — the law gives most taxpayers a three-year period to claim the refund.

But why wait? There must be dozens of ways money can make your life easier right now.

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The Valley Voice
The Valley Voice
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.


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