The number of grandparents raising their grandkids has been rising all over the country, and especially in New Mexico. Those folks might be affected by a last-minute deadline the IRS announced Monday, April 20. People who get federal benefits—and who didn’t file a tax return in 2018 or 2019—only have until Wednesday, April 22, at 10 a.m. MST to fill out a form on the online IRS portal to get stimulus money for their dependents.
The IRS gave some people who didn’t file a tax return in the last couple of years less than 48 hours to complete a form for that stimulus money meant to cover any kids they take care of. This includes people who get Social Security, Railroad Retirement, veterans benefits and Social Security Disability.
Lindsay Cutler is a lawyer with the economic equity team at the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty.
"This is, frankly, a completely unreasonable deadline," she said. "Unfortunately it will leave many in our community without access to the $500 stimulus payment for their children to which they’re entitled and to which people in our community really do need."
Under the first relief package Congress passed a couple of weeks ago, many adults around the U.S. are getting $1,200 in stimulus money. And people with kids are getting $500 for each dependent.
This time pressure is especially hard for people in New Mexico who don’t have internet access, Cutler said.
"This is an extremely difficult time for those who are unable to work and who have children," she said. "The Trump administration made it significantly more difficult for people who receive federal benefits to receive the additional stimulus payment for their dependent children."
Anyone who misses this sudden deadline will have to wait until they file their 2020 taxes next year to see that money. As of Tuesday afternoon, Cutler said she hadn’t heard anything from the IRS about pushing the deadline out.
Hear the full interview Khalil Ekulona did about this issue in Tuesday night's episode of Your NM Government, airing weeknights at 7:30pm and in your podcast feeds.
Your NM Government is a collaboration between KUNM, New Mexico PBS and the Santa Fe Reporter. Support for KUNM's public health coverage comes from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and from listeners like you.