Millions of Americans are still eligible for COVID-19 relief payments, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said on Tuesday.

According to a report from the GAO, Americans with little or no income who are not required to pay taxes have until Nov. 15 to complete a simplified tax return in order to get their stimulus checks.

The report found that multiple groups of people may have experienced difficulties receiving stimulus payments, including individuals who had never filed a tax return and first-time filers, making it difficult to contact them.

Those who do not have bank accounts or lack access to banks, mixed immigrant status families, those experiencing homelessness, and individuals who lack access to the internet may also have had problems receiving the checks, according to the report.

Overall, up to 10 million eligible Americans may not yet have received their relief payments, the GOA said.

“Throughout the pandemic, IRS and Treasury struggled to get COVID-relief payments into the hands of some people—especially those with lower incomes, limited internet access, or experiencing homelessness. Based on IRS and Treasury data, there could be between 9-10 million eligible individuals who have not yet received those payments,” the agency said.

Publicity Efforts

Meanwhile, taxpayers who missed the April 15 filing deadline have until Oct. 17 to do so.

From April 2020 to December 2021 as pandemic-related lockdowns were unleashed, both the Biden and Trump administrations, through various enacted legislation, delivered $931 billion in COVID-19 relief funds in order to help struggling Americans and keep businesses afloat.

The GOA report noted that the “Treasury and IRS undertook sweeping communications and outreach efforts to publicize the COVID-19 payments” as well as Child Tax Credit (CTC), which was temporarily expanded by Congress to include more families while payment amounts were also increased.

Despite their publicity efforts, the GOA noted, “Part of the challenge for the IRS and Treasury in 2020 was they only had data on taxpayers that had previously filed taxes.”

“Since a broader set of families were eligible for the COVID-19 stimulus payments and the expanded CTC, Treasury and IRS reached out to around 9 million Americans to let them know they were eligible for the relief payments.”

Inflation Soars Under Biden

Yet in May 2021, the Treasury inspector general identified up to 10 million Americans that were eligible to receive the payments.

“As of June, IRS had no plans to conduct additional outreach,” the GOA said.

The millions of Americans that may be eligible for stimulus checks are likely currently feeling the pain of 40-year-high inflation and will no doubt welcome the financial relief.

However, some experts have blamed President Joe Biden’s nearly $2 trillion American Rescue Plan enacted in March 2021 for further worsening inflation, which was at 1.4 percent when he stepped into office and had soared to 8.3 percent as of August this year.

In March, four economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco estimated that the rescue plan had raised inflation by about 3 percentage points by the end of 2021.

Last month, Laurence Ball of Johns Hopkins University, Daniel Leigh, and Prachi Mishra of the International Monetary Fund, wrote in a paper titled “Understanding U.S. Inflation During the COVID Era” that without Biden’s American Rescue Plan, annualized monthly core inflation would have been 3.7 percent in July rather than 6.5 percent.


Katabella Roberts is a news writer for The Epoch Times, focusing primarily on the United States, world, and business news.

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