Tax Tips: IRS reminding everyone (again) about stimulus payments

In case you haven't ever watched the news, listened to a radio, or picked up a newspaper in the last several months, you should know that the Internal Revenue Service is sending out lots of checks to lots of people. But in order to get one of these checks via the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008, you have to file a tax return, even if you have no tax liability and otherwise wouldn't need to file.

More letters are going out, as the IRS estimates that 5.2 million people are still eligible to receive a check but haven't filed a tax return in order to qualify. All along, I've figured that if people didn't know by now that they need to file, they just shouldn't get a check. Someone disagrees with me, and the government will spend a bunch of money to tell people for about the 80th time that they need to file to get a check.

About 112 million taxpayers have received checks totaling $91.8 billion so far. The IRS thinks the 5.2 million people who haven't received checks are retirees and veterans, and wants to give them one last chance to file. Anyone who may be eligible for a check has until October 15 to file a personal tax return. After that date, they forfeit their right to receive a check.

Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.

Your resource on tax filing
Tax season is here! Check out the Tax Center on AOL Finance for all the tips and tools you need to maximize your return.
Should You and Your Spouse File Taxes Jointly or Separately?
Married couples have the option to file jointly or separately on their federal income tax returns. The IRS strongly encourages most couples to file joint tax returns by extending several tax breaks to those who file together. In the vast majority of cases, it's best for married couples to file jointly, but there may be a few instances when it's better to submit separate returns.
Read MoreBrought to you byTurboTax.com
The 10 Most Overlooked Tax Deductions
Don't overpay taxes by overlooking these tax deductions. See the 10 most common deductions taxpayers miss on their tax returns so you can keep more money in your pocket.
Read MoreBrought to you byTurboTax.com
When are Taxes Due? Important Tax Deadlines and Dates
Make sure your calendar is up-to-date with these important deadlines, dates, possible extensions and other factors in play for both individuals and businesses in 2021.
Read MoreBrought to you byTurboTax.com
Guide to Filing Taxes as Head of Household
The IRS has provided a series of guidelines to help taxpayers understand whether or not they qualify to file as head of household.
Read MoreBrought to you byTurboTax.com