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Deadline approaching for 9 million who still haven't received first stimulus checks

Federal officials said around 120 million Americans have been able to take advantage of the stimulus money.

INDIANAPOLIS — Note: The IRS has extended the deadline to register for the Economic Impact Payment from Oct. 15 to Nov. 21

While the debate in Washington rages on over another potential round of stimulus money that could be sent out to millions of Americans in need, there could be money available right now that you're missing out on. 

The Internal Revenue Service is reminding around 9 million people to check-in if you're someone who's not received your Economic Impact Payment — officially part of the CARES Act. 

Federal officials said around 120 million Americans have been able to take advantage of it, but for those who have not filed, you may not even know you've qualified for the money. 

If you've not filed taxes for 2018 or 2019 and could still qualify, you'll see this letter. The letter will instruct you on the steps to take advantage of the stimulus. 

"If you didn't file for whatever reason, you can still get the money. They want you to do it by Oct. 15," Ben Jones, a financial advisor in Carmel, said. "The reason [it's] by Oct. 15 is because they want to get you that check before the end of the year."

IRS representative Luis Garcia said IRS.gov/coronavirus is a great resource that even includes a non-filers page.

Now, you could've even thrown away the money by accident. If this was you, don't worry — all hope isn't lost. The payments were mailed in unassuming envelopes, so it's OK and easy to have mistaken it for junk mail. 

First, there's a cool tracking tool on IRS.gov to see if you've received your stimulus. Try the "Get My Payment" tool on the IRS website. Remember, some people received the money through direct deposit, but that deadline expired back in May, and others received the money by mail. Most people received a check, but about 4 million received prepaid cards.

Although the IRS said it's rare, if you think your check has been stolen, you can report it to the Federal Trade Commission. 

Finally, if IRS.gov and all its resources aren't enough help and it's still confusing — and yes, it can be confusing — go old school and call 800-829-1040. The IRS said they added about 3,500 workers to take phone calls back in May, but Jones said plan on waiting a little while because he's called before. 

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