The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) was signed into law on March 27, 2020, and includes a one-time cash payment of $1,200 to many Americans with Social Security numbers. With bills coming due, when can you expect your stimulus check?
Payments are scheduled to arrive via direct deposit by April 15 to taxpayers who have filed 2018 or 2019 tax returns and for whom the IRS has direct-deposit information. If you are one of those filers, you don’t have to do anything.
You do not have to sign up for the stimulus package if you have filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return. You should see the payment arrive as a direct deposit in your bank account by April 15. Stimulus payments of $1,200 will also go automatically to Americans who are on Social Security retirement, Railroad Retirement, veterans benefits or disability benefits, whether or not they have filed a tax return in 2018 or 2019.
Not everyone will get a payment, though many people will. Your adjusted gross income (AGI) will determine whether you qualify. To receive the maximum payment amount of $1,200 (or $2,400 if you are married filing jointly), you will need to have an AGI of less than $75,000 for individuals, $112,500 if you file as head of household, or $150,000 for married filing joint tax returns.
Payment amounts are reduced if the AGI for single filers (or married filing separately) earning between $75,000 and $99,000, between $112,500 and $136,500 as head of household, or between $150,00 to $198,000 for married filing a joint tax return. For parents, there is a $500 payment for each child under the age of 17. Find out more information whether or not you qualify here on the IRS page.
You are not eligible if you are claimed as a dependent on another taxpayers tax return. You are also not eligible if your AGI is greater than $99,000 for single or married filing separately, $136,500 as head of household, or $198,00 as married filling jointly. You will not receive a stimulus check if you do not have a valid Social Security number, if you are a non-resident alien, or if you filed a Form 1040-NR, 1040 NR-EZ, Form 1040-PR, or Form 1040-SS in 2019.
The stimulus check is not a tax refund. You will still receive a tax refund if applicable, as long as you file your return.
If you did not offer any banking information when you filed your taxes, or if you have not filed a tax return in 2018 or 2019, you will receive a paper check at your last known mailing address. It could take up to 20 weeks or more for a paper check to arrive.
What is “Get My Payment?”
The IRS also announced a new online tool called “Get My Payment” to track the stimulus checks. The “Get My Payment” tool will “provide people with the status of their payment, including the date their payment is scheduled to be deposited into their bank account or mailed to them.”
The IRS said the new tool will also let eligible people submit bank information, if they haven’t already, so they can get their payment quicker than waiting for a paper check in the mail.
“Get My Payment” is active and can be found here. Be prepared with a copy of your income tax return as it will ask you for your Adjust Gross Income (line 8b) , if you are due a refund or owe any money and how much, your bank’s routing number and your bank account number (both are at the bottom of your paper checks).
TurboTax has worked with the IRS and developed a portal of its own for those who want to calculate their AGI and submit direct deposit banking information.
The IRS website states that the government plans to mail a letter about this stimulus check payment to the taxpayer’s last known address within 15 days after the payment is paid, saying how the payment was made, and how you can report to them if you did not receive payment.
If you had a 2019 AGI of up to $12,200 or $24,400 for married couples, or were not required to file a federal tax return for 2019, you can apply here on the IRS government website. You will need to provide this information:
- Your legal name, current address and email address.
- You date of birth and your Social Security number
- Your bank account number, type and routing number.
- The Identity Protection Personal Identification Number you received from the IRS earlier this year, if you have one.
- Your driver’s license or state-issued ID
- The name of each child who qualifies, their Social Security number or Adoption Taxpayer ID number, and what their relationship is to you or to your spouse.
The information you need to provide is also listed on the site, and will allow the IRS to determine if you are eligible for a stimulus check.
The government will never call you, send you an email, or try to communicate with you through social media. If you receive a message of this kind, do not reply, send any money, or offer any personal information. It is most likely a scam. If you receive a letter and you are not sure if it is actually from the IRS, do not offer any information in response. Instead, visit IRS.gov to make sure it is not a scam.
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