In March, Congress passed—and President Trump signed into law—the CARES Act, a $2 trillion economic relief package to provide assistance to American consumers and businesses struggling as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. A provision of the law includes sending government payments to eligible Americans.

How large will my payment be?

The CARES Act outlines the parameters of who is eligible to receive a payment. The Internal Revenue Service is the agency responsible for determining eligibility. In general, single adults with an adjusted gross income of $75,000 or less will get $1,200. Married couples earning a combined adjusted gross income of $150,000 or less will receive a total of $2,400. Individual and married taxpayers earning over $75,000 and $150,000 respectively will get reduced payments with full phase-outs at $99,000 and $198,000. There are additional $500 payments for dependent children.

For complete eligibility information please visit the IRS website.

Will college students be eligible to receive a payment?

The CARES Act definition of eligible individuals excludes those who are claimed as a dependent on another taxpayer’s return. Accordingly, to the extent a college student is claimed as a dependent on the tax return of a parent, he or she would not be eligible for the rebate.

For complete eligibility information please visit the IRS website.

When will I receive my payment?

The Department of the Treasury intends to send the payments out as soon as possible. If you filed taxes in 2018 or 2019 and included your bank routing and account number for payments or refunds, and this information has not changed, the IRS has the information it needs to send your payment electronically. This could be as soon as the middle of April, according to Treasury. In addition, for Social Security recipients, the IRS will use direct deposit by the Social Security Administration to facilitate payments. If the direct deposit information you have provided in the past is for a bank-issued prepaid debit card, you will receive your funds on that card account.

Recipients will be mailed a check if the IRS does not have your information on file. Check payments will follow weeks or possibly months after the direct deposits are sent.

Check the status of your payment: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment

 

Can I receive my payment electronically if my current information is not on file with the IRS?

The IRS is developing an online portal so you can check the status of your information and your payment. That portal—which will be called “Get My Payment”—is expected to be available by April 17. In addition, the IRS has launched a new web tool allowing quick registration for those who don’t normally file a tax return. For the most up-to-date information, visit IRS.gov/coronavirus.

While the IRS has extended the tax filing deadline this year from April 15 to July 15, another option is to file your 2019 taxes as soon as possible with bank routing and account number provided on the form.

What if I am typically not required to file a tax return?

People who typically do not file a tax return and are not Social Security beneficiaries will need to file a simple tax return to receive an economic impact payment. Certain low-income taxpayers, veterans and individuals with disabilities who are otherwise not required to file a tax return will not owe tax. IRS.gov/coronavirus will soon provide information instructing people in these groups 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. As noted above, Social Security recipients who have not been required to file tax returns will not be required to file a tax return to receive their payments.

I have a bank account. Can I still receive a paper check?

Yes, but be aware that your payment will be slower than an electronic transfer. Paper checks may be sent out weeks after the electronic checks are sent.

If you are willing to wait, we recommend that you deposit the check through remote deposit capture, if your bank offers this service. This is basically taking a picture of your check through your bank’s smartphone app. Follow the simple directions and you can make the deposit from the comfort and safety of your home the same day the check arrives in the mail.

The important thing to remember is that with branches closed or restricted, you may be required to visit a bank drive-through location if you want to deposit the check in person.

What can I do to prevent fraudsters from accessing my funds?

There will be a large amount of funds disbursed to qualifying individuals. Accordingly, there is a risk for fraud of various types. The IRS has announced various ways individuals can be on guard against these types of bad activities. See the notice.

It is important to remember that banks or the federal government will never contact you by telephone, text or email asking for your account information. Do not provide any banking information to anyone claiming to be registering you for your relief payment.

From the American Bankers Association

Stimulus Payments FAQs


4/15/2020