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Coronavirus stimulus checks | What if you don't file taxes and aren't on Social Security?

Here's some helpful info for people who aren't being directly addressed by government guidance right now.

ATLANTA — We can now be reasonably confident the confusing matter of how to receive coronavirus stimulus payments should be clear for Social Security benefit recipients and people who have filed taxes at least for 2018.

But what if you don't fall into either group?

People experiencing homelessness, young people who don't make much money or anyone else who otherwise simply doesn't usually file their taxes aren't really addressed. 

RELATED: Stimulus check calculator: See how much you'll likely be getting

The language makes clear, though, that everyone with legal status in the U.S. and who isn't claimed as a dependent on someone else's return is an "eligible individual" and therefore entitled to the payment.

So how can you make sure you get it? 

It's possible in the weeks ahead, the government will try and use other information or means to direct the payment to you - for instance, if you get SNAP benefits on an EBT card, they could potentially the money there.

But it's important to know they have not said anything about doing something like that, as of now.

Right now, there is only one way to guarantee you get the money you're entitled to - file taxes for 2018 or 2019. (11Alive has reached out to the Treasury Department to see if there will be any program or mechanism to help the people get their payment if they don't fall into the two addressed groups.)

RELATED: Coronavirus stimulus checks | Clearing up the confusion

"The IRS urges anyone with a tax filing obligation who has not yet filed a tax return for 2018 or 2019 to file as soon as they can to receive an economic impact payment. Taxpayers should include direct deposit banking information on the return," the IRS says.

That raises two obvious questions: What's the easiest, quickest way to file a tax return, and what if you don't have a bank account?

To the first question, one option for younger, more tech-savvy people who simply haven't filed taxes, you can go through the IRS free filing website or, if that's a bit confusing to wade through, use services like Turbo Tax which has a free option available until Saturday. Google "free tax filing" and see what works for you.

For those experiencing homelessness or in other low-income households, you can seek out help through what are known as VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) programs.

You can find one near you through the IRS website here

According to the IRS locator, there are a number in Atlanta you can try to contact:

11Alive has also been in touch with a tax expert, Dr. Steve Balsam at Temple University, who runs a VITA program through the school: You can contact his program at vita@temple.edu.

If you don't have a bank account for direct deposit or an address for a check to be mailed to, it may be possible to work with these organizations to establish a location a point of delivery.

11Alive is focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the virus. We want to keep you informed about the latest developments while ensuring that we deliver confirmed, factual information.

We will track the most important coronavirus elements relating to Georgia on this page. Refresh often for new information.


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