The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service today announced that distribution of economic impact payments will begin in the next three weeks and will be distributed automatically, with no action required for most people. However, some seniors and others who typically do not file returns will need to submit a simple tax return to receive the stimulus payment.

COVID-19 STIMULUS CHECKS FAQ’S

How Much will Taxpayers receive?

  • $1,200 per single filer (not claimed as a dependent on another taxpayer’s return)
  • $2,400 joint filers
  • $500 per child who qualifies for the Child Tax Credit. (This is for dependents who are UNDER the age of 17)

Eligible taxpayers who filed tax returns for either 2019 or 2018 will automatically receive an economic impact payment of up to $1,200 for individuals or $2,400 for married couples. Parents also receive $500 for each qualifying child.

Is there an income limitation? 

Yes.  The limitations start once a taxpayer reaches the following income (based on Adjusted Gross Income on tax return):

  • $75,000 Single Filers (Single, Married Filing Separate)
  • $112,500 Head of House Hold Filers
  • $150,000 Married Filing Joint Filers

Once the income has reached these amounts, it does not necessarily mean the taxpayer will not receive a credit, it just means it will be reduced. $50 of the credit will be reduced per $1,000 above the limitations (5%).

Who will qualify?

  • US Citizens and Resident Aliens
  • Individuals with an Social Security Number
  • Children who are under the age of 17, that qualifies for Child Tax Credit

Who will NOT qualify?

  • Nonresident Aliens
  • Individuals with ITINS rather than SSN
  • Dependents listed on your return 17 and up will not qualify you for the additional $500
  • Dependents claimed on another taxpayer’s return
  • Estates or Trusts

What tax year will my income be determined on?

The IRS will base information from 2019 returns as it is the most current. If a 2019 return was not yet filed, they will turn to 2018. If both returns have not yet been filed, you will receive the credit (or additional portion of a credit, if eligible) on your 2020 Tax Return that you will file in 2021. 

What if I owe the IRS or Student Loans?

The credit cannot be reduced for certain unpaid debts, including debts owed to a federal  agency (excluding child support), past-due state income taxes, federal taxes, or unemployment compensation debts. If you are behind in child support, your check WILL be reduced.

What if I end up not receiving the economic impact payment?

The bill would require that individuals identified as eligible to receive a payment be sent a notice that provides them with information on the amount of the payment, how it will be delivered (direct deposit or paper check by mail), and a phone number at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to call if the payment is not received.

I have not filed my tax return for 2018 or 2019. Can I still receive an economic impact payment?

Yes. 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. If you never file your 2018 or 2019 returns, you should receive the credit when you file your 2020 tax return in 2021.

I am not typically required to file a tax return. Can I still receive my payment?

Yes. People who typically do not file a tax return will need to file a simple tax return to receive an economic impact payment. Low-income taxpayers, senior citizens, Social Security recipients, some veterans and individuals with disabilities who are otherwise not required to file a tax return will not owe tax.

How can I file the tax return needed to receive my economic impact payment?

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IRS.gov/coronavirus will soon provide information instructing people on how to file a 2019 tax return with simple, but necessary, information including their filing status, number of dependents and direct deposit bank account information.

I need to file a tax return. How long are the economic impact payments available?

For those concerned about visiting a tax professional or local community organization in person to get help with a tax return, these economic impact payments will be available throughout the rest of 2020.

I no longer have the checking account on my return, how will I receive my payment?

The payment will go to the bank, if the account is closed the payment will be sent back to the IRS and then you will be issued a check by mail.

How will the IRS know where to send my payment?

The vast majority of people do not need to take any action. The IRS will calculate and automatically send the economic impact payment to those eligible.

For people who have already filed their 2019 tax returns, the IRS will use this information to calculate the payment amount. For those who have not yet filed their return for 2019, the IRS will use information from their 2018 tax filing to calculate the payment. The economic impact payment will be deposited directly into the same banking account reflected on the return filed.

I went through a tax preparer and had my fees withheld through the bank they used, how will I receive my payment?

In the coming weeks, You can use the web-based portal on the IRS.gov to update your direct deposit information. 

The IRS does not have my direct deposit information. What can I do?

In the coming weeks, Treasury plans to develop a web-based portal for individuals to provide their banking information to the IRS online, so that individuals can receive payments immediately as opposed to checks in the mail.

Are these checks taxable?

No. the check you receive is really just an advanced payment of a tax credit for the 2020 tax year. The only way your check can be taxable is if your 2020 income surpasses the limitation. Some or all of the stimulus check would be taxable on the 2020 tax return filed in 2021. This would effect only a small amount of people. 

Will there be a second stimulus check going out?

The law signed by President Trump only authorizes just one single payment. President Trump is open to the idea but only if the economy remains anemic through the spring. But – don’t count on it!

Do I need to “Apply” to receive the stimulus payment?

No, you do not need to do anything except to have filed a tax return if you were required to file in 2018 or 2019.

WHEN WILL WE GET THE CHECKS?!?!?

This is the top question! Trump wants these checks going out within two to three weeks however, the IRS (we all know how slow they like to be when it comes to refunds…) say most likely in late April or early May. If it is Direct Deposit, you will receive it sooner than those receiving a check. A Check can take a few weeks longer to receive. 

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