Many parents have complained that while they received their $1,200 by direct deposit, they did not receive the extra $500 promised for each dependent child under the age of 17.
Jamie Jones, a Virginia widow and mother of three receiving Social Security survivor benefits, got her $1,200 stimulus check, but it was missing the extra $1,500 for her three children, ages 8, 10 and 12. She filed her 2019 tax return in February claiming her three children.
Jones, who is out of work because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, said she had hoped the rest of the money was still on the way to help pay for groceries. But unless there is a policy change, Jones will have to wait until she files a federal return next year to get the additional funds.
“Because their system was flawed, we are punished for it, and there is no way to give us relief for a whole year,” Jones said.
The Treasury Department and IRS reported 130 million individuals had received stimulus payments totaling more than $207 billion in less than 30 days.
Although people have said they got their payments with no problems, others have complained that payments were missing or were short.
The latest guidance from the IRS suggests that those who did receive some stimulus payment will not get the rest of the money — provided they are indeed entitled to it — in the immediate future.
“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 Wednesday in an updated post on irs.gov.
Parents are really going to be devastated to learn they may not get the payments for their children, said Jessica Bartholow, policy advocate with Western Center on Law & Poverty in California.
“Five hundred dollars is a lot of money and could provide a lot of emotional and financial relief,” Bartholow said. “Right now is a moment in which we have to believe in government and we have to believe that it can work. So as disappointing as all of this is, I also really still believe in the IRS to do the right thing, to find a way to get these families the $500 per child as soon as possible.”
This is another stumble in a stimulus program that has been plagued with glitches. Families have reported difficulties tracking their stimulus with the “Get My Payment” tool that was supposed to help speed up payments and allow people to track their money.
Another non-filer tool for Americans who earn too little to be required to file a tax return but are eligible for a stimulus payment also created problems.
Treasury and the IRS came under fire for giving Social Security and Railroad Retirement beneficiaries who don’t file tax returns but have dependent children just 2½ days to act to get the $500 payment or risk waiting until next year for the funds.
If you receive Supplemental Security Income or Veterans Affairs benefits and didn’t file a tax return for 2018 or 2019, you have until Tuesday to receive the $500 payment per dependent child under 17. If you miss the deadline to register dependent children, you will still get your $1,200 payment but will have to wait until next year to get the additional $500 when you file a 2020 tax return.
The Tuesday deadline is only applicable to SSI and VA beneficiaries who need to let the IRS know they have dependents eligible for the $500.