With millions of Americans facing an uncertain financial picture because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) — a $2 trillion stimulus package to provide financial relief to individuals, families and businesses — was signed into law.
The IRS estimates that approximately 80% of Americans will be eligible to receive a full or partial stimulus payment (economic impact payment) through the CARES Act. Intuit employees have been working around the clock to help those Americans get both their maximum tax refunds, and receive the federal stimulus payment, putting the most money in their pocket as quickly as possible when they need it most.
Congress has tasked the Department of the Treasury and the IRS with determining eligibility for and distributing stimulus payments. And for the tens of millions of taxpayers who have already filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return,are Social Security recipients or are Supplemental Security Income recipients, the IRS has all of the information it needs to distribute payments and they do not need to take any further action.
For tax filers who have not yet filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return and are required to do so, TurboTax, along with the IRS and the Department of the Treasury, strongly recommends that they file their return now, so that they can get both their tax refund and stimulus check as quickly as possible. Last year approximately 72% of taxpayers received a tax refund and the average refund was close to $3,000. The IRS expects to issue 9 out of 10 tax refunds within 21 days or less of acceptance if the taxpayer has elected to receive their refund through direct deposit. Filing 2019 returns now also will ensure that the IRS has the most current tax filing and direct deposit information, which they will use to determine and distribute individual stimulus payments.
But there is another group of Americans who do need to take action in order to receive their stimulus payment — the more than 10 million Americans who are not required to file a tax return. Because the IRS will use tax returns to determine eligibility and obtain the information needed to send individual stimulus payments, these individuals are at risk of not receiving their stimulus payment.
This is why TurboTax has developed and delivered three completely free stimulus registration tools so Americans who are not required to file a tax return can register their information with the IRS through multiple channels:
- Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Tool: Developed in partnership with the IRS and the Free File Alliance, this tool allows users to electronically file the minimal information that can establish their eligibility for a stimulus payment and provide direct deposit information. Users complete only two simple steps and provide only the data necessary to receive stimulus payments. This tool is based on Free File Fillable Forms, which is software that Intuit developed and donated to the IRS. This experience is accessed from IRS.gov.
- IRS Free File delivered by TurboTax Economic Impact Payment Registration Tool: This tool helps those who are not required to file a tax return to register their information with the IRS. This experience is accessed from the IRS Free File site.
- TurboTax Stimulus Registration Tool: TurboTax created this new tool to help non-filers easily get their stimulus payment as quickly as possible. Users answer a few questions and then choose to receive their payment via direct deposit (strongly recommended by the IRS so taxpayers get their stimulus money more quickly) or check. As of April 13 more than 165,000 people used this tool to receive more than $230 million in stimulus payments. This experience is accessed from TurboTax.com.
TurboTax had one goal in creating these tools: ensuring Americans who do not need to file tax returns can get their stimulus money as quickly as possible. There is no fee to use any of the three stimulus registration tools, there is no upselling in the stimulus registration experience and Intuit will not use an individual’s data for future marketing.
After creating an account to access the TurboTax Stimulus Registration tool, some early users received a standard account confirmation email from Intuit. It’s the same automatically generated email received by everyone who creates a TurboTax account and contains references to TurboTax products. As soon as we learned these emails were inadvertently going to people who created accounts solely for the Stimulus Registration tool, we stopped the emails from being automatically sent.
Here’s what we’re hearing from public officials:
“People who don’t have a return filing obligation can use this tool to give us basic information so they can receive their Economic Impact Payments as soon as possible,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig.
“By creating a simplified tax form for those who need to file to receive their economic impact payment, the Free File Alliance is helping vulnerable populations weather these uncertain times,” said Richard Neal (D-MA), Ways & Means Chairman.
“Once again, public-private partnerships are proven critical to fighting the novel coronavirus,” said Ways & Means Ranking Member Kevin Brady.
Our entire focus is to help Americans through this incredibly difficult time. We are proud to be continuing to do everything we can to help people get the money some desperately need, be it a tax refund, stimulus payment or both.