Some $500 coronavirus stimulus checks for kids may not arrive until next year, IRS says

Americans who haven’t received the full stimulus payment allotted to them under the massive coronavirus relief package passed in March may not receive the rest of the money until next year, according to the IRS.

“If you did not receive the full amount to which you believe you are entitled, you will be able to claim the additional amount when you file your 2020 tax return,” the IRS said in updated guidance. “This is particularly important for individuals who may be entitled to the additional $500 per qualifying child dependent payments.”

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The IRS instructed recipients of Supplemental Security Income or Veterans Affairs benefits who did not file a tax return in 2018 or 2019 to register dependents by Tuesday to receive the extra $500 per child payment.

If those individuals miss the deadline to register a dependent child, they will receive the $1,200 payment but will have to wait until next year to receive the additional $500 when they file a 2020 tax return.

Although the $1,200 cash payments will be automatic for individuals who receive federal benefits, the agency previously said it needed information from people about their dependents in order to include the extra $500.

The CARES Act set up one-time payments of $1,200 for individuals who earn less than $75,000 annually ($2,400 checks for couples who earn less than $150,0000) and $500 for every child under the age of 17. The payments are tapered for higher-earners and phase out completely for individuals who earn more than $99,000.

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The agency was criticized previously for giving recipients of Social Security and railroad retirement beneficiaries less than three days to act to get the $500 payment. If individuals did not provide the IRS with the necessary information, the agency said they would not be paid until next year, when they filed their 2020 tax return.

The Treasury Department and IRS reported on Wednesday that 130 million individuals had received payments totaling more than $207 billion in less than 30 days.

In the past six weeks, more than 30 million Americans have filed for first-time unemployment benefits -- a stunning sign of the depth of the economic damage inflicted by the virus outbreak.