Those experiencing homelessness can get Economic Impact Payments and other tax benefits; permanent address not required.
IR-2021-87, April 15, 2021
WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today continued an ongoing effort to help those experiencing homelessness during the pandemic by reminding people who don’t have a permanent address or a bank account that they may still qualify for Economic Impact Payments and other tax benefits.
While Economic Impact Payments continue to be made automatically to most people, the IRS can’t issue a payment to eligible Americans when information about them isn’t available in the tax agency’s systems.
To help people experiencing homelessness, the rural poor and other historically under-served groups, the IRS urges community groups, employers and others to share information about Economic Impact Payments and help more eligible people file a tax return so they can receive everything they’re entitled to. IRS.gov has a variety of information and tools to help people receive the Economic Impact Payments.
“The IRS has been continuing to work directly with groups inside and outside the tax community to get information directly to people experiencing homelessness and other groups to help them receive Economic Impact Payments,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “The IRS is working hard on this effort, enabling millions of people who don’t normally file a tax return to receive these payments. But we need to do more, and we appreciate all the help we’ve been receiving from national and local groups to assist in this effort to reach the people who desperately need this help.”
Economic Impact Payments, also known as stimulus payments, are different from most other tax benefits; people can get the payments even if they have little or no income and even if they don’t usually file a tax return. This is true as long as they have a Social Security number and are not being supported by someone else who can claim them as a dependent.
The IRS needs information from people who don’t usually file a tax return – even if they did not have any income last year or their income was not large enough to require them to file. The only way for the agency to have that information is for people to file a basic 2020 tax return with the IRS. Once that return is processed, the IRS can quickly send stimulus payments to an address selected by the eligible individual. People do not need a permanent address or a bank account. They don’t need to have a job. For eligible individuals, the IRS will still issue the payment even if they haven’t filed a tax return in years.
People in this group can still qualify for the first two Economic Impact Payments when they file their 2020 return by claiming the Recovery Rebate Credit. There’s a special section on IRS.gov that can help: Claiming the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit if you aren’t required to file a tax return. For the current third round of payments, people who are experiencing homelessness usually qualify to receive $1,400 for themselves. If they are married or have dependents, they can get an additional $1,400 for each of their family members.
Filing a 2020 federal income tax return that provides very basic information about the person is something that can be done electronically using a smartphone or a computer. When the IRS receives the return, it will automatically calculate and issue the Economic Impact Payments to eligible individuals.
Permanent address not required
People can claim an Economic Impact Payment or other credits even if they don’t have a permanent address. For example, someone experiencing homelessness may list the address of a friend, relative or trusted service provider, such as a shelter, drop-in day center or transitional housing program, on the return filed with the IRS. If they are unable to choose direct deposit, a check or debit card for the tax refund and the third Economic Impact Payment can then be mailed to this address.
Individuals experiencing homelessness can receive the EITC
A worker experiencing homelessness can get an Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). To get the credit, federal law requires that a worker live in the U.S. for more than half of the year and meet other requirements. This means living in a home in any of the 50 states or the District of Columbia. Therefore, individuals experiencing homelessness, including those who reside at one or more homeless shelters, can meet that requirement.
No bank account? No problem
Many financial institutions will help a person lacking an account to open a low-cost or no-cost bank account. Individuals who open accounts will then have an account and routing number available when they file and claim a direct deposit of the Economic Impact Payment.
IR-2021-71, March 31, 2021
WASHINGTON — To help taxpayers, the Internal Revenue Service announced today that it will take steps to automatically refund money this spring and summer to people who filed their tax return reporting unemployment compensation before the recent changes made by the American Rescue Plan.
The legislation, signed on March 11, allows taxpayers who earned less than $150,000 in modified adjusted gross income to exclude unemployment compensation up to $20,400 if married filing jointly and $10,200 for all other eligible taxpayers. The legislation excludes only 2020 unemployment benefits from taxes.
Because the change occurred after some people filed their taxes, the IRS will take steps in the spring and summer to make the appropriate change to their return, which may result in a refund. The first refunds are expected to be made in May and will continue into the summer.
For those taxpayers who already have filed and figured their tax based on the full amount of unemployment compensation, the IRS will determine the correct taxable amount of unemployment compensation and tax. Any resulting overpayment of tax will be either refunded or applied to other outstanding taxes owed.
For those who have already filed, the IRS will do these recalculations in two phases, starting with those taxpayers eligible for the up to $10,200 exclusion. The IRS will then adjust returns for those married filing jointly taxpayers who are eligible for the up to $20,400 exclusion and others with more complex returns.
There is no need for taxpayers to file an amended return unless the calculations make the taxpayer newly eligible for additional federal credits and deductions not already included on the original tax return.
For example, the IRS can adjust returns for those taxpayers who claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and, because the exclusion changed the income level, may now be eligible for an increase in the EITC amount which may result in a larger refund. However, taxpayers would have to file an amended return if they did not originally claim the EITC or other credits but now are eligible because the exclusion changed their income.
These taxpayers may want to review their state tax returns as well.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 23 million U.S. workers nationwide filed for unemployment last year. For the first time, some self-employed workers qualified for unemployed benefits as well. The IRS is working to determine how many workers affected by the tax change already have filed their tax returns.
The new IRS guidance also includes details for those eligible taxpayers who have not yet filed.
The IRS has worked with the tax return preparation software industry to reflect these updates so people who choose to file electronically simply need to respond to the related questions when electronically preparing their tax returns. See New Exclusion of up to $10,200 of Unemployment Compensation for information and examples. For others, instructions and an updated worksheet about the exclusion were available in March and posted to IRS.gov/form1040. These instructions can assist taxpayers who have not yet filed to prepare returns correctly.
If your modified adjusted gross income (AGI) is less than $150,000, the American Rescue Plan enacted on March 11, 2021, excludes from income up to $10,200 of unemployment compensation paid in 2020, which means you don’t have to pay tax on unemployment compensation of up to $10,200. If you are married, each spouse receiving unemployment compensation doesn’t have to pay tax on unemployment compensation of up to $10,200. Amounts over $10,200 for each individual are still taxable. If your modified AGI is $150,000 or more, you can’t exclude any unemployment compensation. If you file Form 1040-NR, you can’t exclude any unemployment compensation for your spouse.
The exclusion should be reported separately from your unemployment compensation. See the updated instructions and the Unemployment Compensation Exclusion Worksheet to figure your exclusion and the amount to enter on Schedule 1, line 8.
When figuring the following deductions or exclusions from income, if you are asked to enter an amount from Schedule 1, line 7 enter the total amount of unemployment compensation reported on line 7 (unreduced by any exclusion amount) and if you are asked to enter an amount from Schedule 1, line 8, enter the amount from line 3 of the Unemployment Compensation Exclusion Worksheet. See the specific form or instructions for more information. If you file Form 1040-NR, you aren’t eligible for all of these deductions. See the Instructions for Form 1040-NR for details.
- Taxable social security benefits (Instructions for Form 1040 or 1040-SR, Social Security Benefits Worksheet)
- IRA deduction (Instructions for Form 1040 or 1040-SR, IRA Deduction Worksheet)
- Student loan interest deduction (Instructions for Form 1040 or 1040-SR, Student Loan Interest Deduction Worksheet)
- Nontaxable amount of Olympic or Paralympic medals and USOC prize money (Instructions for Form 1040 or 1040-SR, Schedule 1, line 8)
- The exclusion of interest from Series EE and I U.S. Savings Bonds issued after 1989 (Form 8815)
- The exclusion of employer-provided adoption benefits (Form 8839)
- Tuition and fees deduction (Form 8917)
- The deduction of up to $25,000 for active participation in a passive rental real estate activity (Form 8582)
If you have already filed your 2020 Form 1040 or 1040-SR, there is no need to file an amended return (Form 1040-X) to figure the amount of unemployment compensation to exclude. The IRS will refigure your taxes using the excluded unemployment compensation amount and adjust your account accordingly. The IRS will send any refund amount directly to you.
(a) IN GENERAL.—Section 85 of the Internal Revenue Code
of 1986 is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:
‘‘(c) SPECIAL RULE FOR 2020.—
‘‘(1) IN GENERAL.—In the case of any taxable year beginning
in 2020, if the adjusted gross income of the taxpayer for such
taxable year is less than $150,000, the gross income of such
taxpayer shall not include so much of the unemployment compensation
received by such taxpayer (or, in the case of a joint
return, received by each spouse) as does not exceed $10,200.
‘‘(2) APPLICATION.—For purposes of paragraph (1), the
adjusted gross income of the taxpayer shall be determined—
‘‘(A) after application of sections 86, 135, 137, 219,
221, 222, and 469, and
‘‘(B) without regard to this section.’’.
(b) CONFORMING AMENDMENTS.—
(1) Section 74(d)(2)(B) of the Internal Revenue Code of
1986 is amended by inserting ‘‘85(c),’’ before ‘‘86’’.
(2) Section 86(b)(2)(A) of such Code is amended by inserting
‘‘85(c),’’ before ‘‘135’’.
(3) Section 135(c)(4)(A) of such Code is amended by
inserting ‘‘85(c),’’ before ‘‘137’’.
(4) Section 137(b)(3)(A) of such Code is amended by
inserting ‘‘85(c)’’ before ‘‘221’’.
(5) Section 219(g)(3)(A)(ii) of such Code is amended by
inserting ‘‘85(c),’’ before ‘‘135’’.
(6) Section 221(b)(2)(C)(i) of such Code is amended by
inserting ‘‘85(c)’’ before ‘‘911’’.
(7) Section 222(b)(2)(C)(i) of such Code, as in effect before
date of enactment of the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster
Tax Relief Act of 2020, is amended by inserting ‘‘85(c)’’ before
(8) Section 469(i)(3)(E)(ii) of such Code is amended by
striking ‘‘135 and 137’’ and inserting ‘‘85(c), 135, and 137’’.
(c) EFFECTIVE DATE.—The amendments made by this section
shall apply to taxable years beginning after December 31, 2019.
IR-2021-59, March 17, 2021
WASHINGTON — The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service announced today that the federal income tax filing due date for individuals for the 2020 tax year will be automatically extended from April 15, 2021, to May 17, 2021. The IRS will be providing formal guidance in the coming days.
“This continues to be a tough time for many people, and the IRS wants to continue to do everything possible to help taxpayers navigate the unusual circumstances related to the pandemic, while also working on important tax administration responsibilities,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “Even with the new deadline, we urge taxpayers to consider filing as soon as possible, especially those who are owed refunds. Filing electronically with direct deposit is the quickest way to get refunds, and it can help some taxpayers more quickly receive any remaining stimulus payments they may be entitled to.”
Individual taxpayers can also postpone federal income tax payments for the 2020 tax year due on April 15, 2021, to May 17, 2021, without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount owed. This postponement applies to individual taxpayers, including individuals who pay self-employment tax. Penalties, interest and additions to tax will begin to accrue on any remaining unpaid balances as of May 17, 2021. Individual taxpayers will automatically avoid interest and penalties on the taxes paid by May 17.
Individual taxpayers do not need to file any forms or call the IRS to qualify for this automatic federal tax filing and payment relief. Individual taxpayers who need additional time to file beyond the May 17 deadline can request a filing extension until Oct. 15 by filing Form 4868 through their tax professional, tax software or using the Free File link on IRS.gov. Filing Form 4868 gives taxpayers until October 15 to file their 2020 tax return but does not grant an extension of time to pay taxes due. Taxpayers should pay their federal income tax due by May 17, 2021, to avoid interest and penalties.
The IRS urges taxpayers who are due a refund to file as soon as possible. Most tax refunds associated with e-filed returns are issued within 21 days.
This relief does not apply to estimated tax payments that are due on April 15, 2021. These payments are still due on April 15. Taxes must be paid as taxpayers earn or receive income during the year, either through withholding or estimated tax payments. In general, estimated tax payments are made quarterly to the IRS by people whose income isn’t subject to income tax withholding, including self-employment income, interest, dividends, alimony or rental income. Most taxpayers automatically have their taxes withheld from their paychecks and submitted to the IRS by their employer.
State tax returns
The federal tax filing deadline postponement to May 17, 2021, only applies to individual federal income returns and tax (including tax on self-employment income) payments otherwise due April 15, 2021, not state tax payments or deposits or payments of any other type of federal tax. Taxpayers also will need to file income tax returns in 42 states plus the District of Columbia. State filing and payment deadlines vary and are not always the same as the federal filing deadline. The IRS urges taxpayers to check with their state tax agencies for those details.
Winter storm disaster relief for Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas
Earlier this year, following the disaster declarations issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the IRS announced relief for victims of the February winter storms in Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana. These states have until June 15, 2021, to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments. This extension to May 17 does not affect the June deadline.