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A guide to COVID-19 economic stimulus relief4/16/2020

 

When can I expect to receive my payment?

The IRS will begin rolling out economic impact payments in April 2020. For most people, you won’t have to do anything – the payment will be directly deposited into your bank account or sent to you by check. Be aware, however, that if it’s sent by check, it might take a little longer.

 

Do I qualify and how much will I receive?

You likely qualify for an economic impact payment if:

  • your filing status is single or married but filing separately, and you make less than $99,000;
  • your filing status is head of a household, and you make less than $136,500;
  • your filing status is married and you file jointly, and your combined income is less than $198,000;
  • your income is above $75,000 as an individual or $150,000 as a joint filer, the payment amount is reduced by $5 for each $100; or
  • you don’t typically file taxes and receive Social Security benefits from the Social Security Administration or Social Security Equivalent Benefits (SSEB) from the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board.

 

Taxpayers

The majority of Americans will receive an economic impact payment that’s based on their income and the filing status on their 2019 tax return. If you haven’t filed your 2019 taxes, your 2018 return will be used to calculate the amount you’ll receive.

Single or married filing separate

  • If your adjusted gross income is below $75,000, you’ll receive the full $1,200. You will also receive $500 for each child under the age of 17 you claim on your taxes.
  • If your adjusted gross income is above $75,000, you’ll receive an amount that will be reduced by $5 for every $100 in adjusted gross income above $75,000.
  • If your adjusted gross income is more than $99,000 and you don’t claim any children under the age of 17, you won’t receive an economic impact payment.

Head of household

  • If your adjusted gross income is below $112,500, you’ll receive the full $1,200. You will also receive $500 for each child under the age of 17 you claim on your taxes.
  • If your adjusted gross income is between $112,500 and $136,500, you’ll receive an amount that will be reduced by $5 for every $100 in adjusted gross income above $112,500.
  • If your adjusted gross income is more than $136,500 and you don’t claim any children under the age of 17, you won’t receive an economic impact payment.

Married filing jointly

  • If your adjusted gross income is less than $150,000, you’ll receive the full $2,400. You will also receive $500 for each child under the age of 17 you claim on your taxes.
  • If your adjusted gross income is above $150,000, you’ll receive an amount that will be reduced $5 for every $100 in adjusted gross income above $150,000
  • If your adjusted gross income is more than $198,000 and you don’t claim any children under the age of 17, you won’t receive an economic impact payment.

If you don’t typically file taxes because you’re not required to based on your income level, the IRS launched a web portal where Americans who did not file a tax return in 2018 or 2019 can submit basic personal information to the IRS so that they can receive payments.

Also, if your 2019 adjusted gross income was less than $69,000, you may be able to find one or more online tools to file your taxes for free . Review each company's offer to make sure you qualify for a free federal return. Some companies offer free state tax returns, but others may charge a fee.

There are a few additional cases in which you may not receive an economic impact payment, including if someone claims you as a dependent on their taxes, you have a non-resident alien status, or you’re filing on behalf of estates or trusts.

Social Security beneficiaries

If you don’t file taxes but receive Social Security or SSEB benefits

If you don’t typically file taxes because you receive Social Security and have a limited income, you’re automatically qualified – based on either your SSA-1099 or RRB-1099 form – to receive the full economic impact payment of $1,200 per beneficiary. You’re also automatically set up to receive your money in the same way you receive your benefits.

Also, if you have dependent children under the age of 17, you’ll qualify to receive an additional $500 per child, but the IRS will need you to complete a form to provide information on the number of qualifying children so they can send you an additional economic impact payment.

If you do file taxes and receive Social Security (or SSEB) benefits

If you receive Social Security (or SSEB) and do file your taxes because you receive additional income through a pension or another source, you’ll receive your economic impact payment based on your latest tax return and the income categories above. If you haven’t filed a 2019 tax return, it will be based on your 2018 tax return.

 

How will the IRS send my payment?

Your economic impact payment will either be directly deposited into your bank account or a check will be mailed to you.

If you’re a Social Security (or SSEB) beneficiary who doesn’t need to file taxes, you’ll receive your economic impact payment the same way you receive your benefits, either by direct deposit or by check.

No matter how you receive your payment, the IRS will send you a letter in the mail to the most current address they have on file about 15 days after they send your payment to let you know what to do if you have any issues, including if you haven’t received the payment.

 

Can I provide the IRS with my bank account information for direct deposit?

Later this month, the IRS will launch a separate online application, “Get My Payment,” which allows taxpayers, who filed their tax return in 2018 or 2019 but did not provide their banking information on their return, to submit direct deposit information so that they can receive payments immediately, as opposed to checks in the mail. “Get My Payment” will also allow taxpayers to track the status of their payment.

 

I’ve moved since I filed my taxes. How can I update my address?

If you provided your bank account information when you filed your taxes, the IRS will directly deposit your money into this account. They won’t need your updated address.

 

If I still need to file my 2018 and 2019 taxes, can I still receive the 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.

Keep in mind that the IRS has extended the deadline for filing your 2019 taxes until July 15, 2020, and you’ll have until the end of 2020 to claim your money.

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’m not typically required to file taxes. Can I still receive the economic impact payment?

Yes, but you will need to visit IRS.gov and then click on “Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here. ” If you didn’t file a tax return in 2018 or 2019, this web portal allows you to submit basic personal information to the IRS so that you can receive payments. To receive your payment quickly, enter your bank account information so that your payment will be directly deposited in your bank account.

The tool will request the following basic information to check your eligibility, calculate and send the economic impact payments:

  • Full names and Social Security numbers, including for spouse and dependents
  • Mailing address
  • Bank account type, account and routing numbers

If you qualified automatically because you receive Social Security (or SSEB) benefits but you also have dependent children under the age of 17, the IRS will soon have a way for you to provide information on your dependents so you can receive additional economic impact payments.

 

Not everyone in my household has a Social Security number. Can I still get an economic impact payment?

No. In almost all cases, everyone in the household – meaning everyone on your tax return – needs a Social Security number (SSN).

The only exception to this is if you’re a member of the military and file a married tax return. Your spouse isn’t required to have a SSN for you to get the economic impact payment.

 

Can the government reduce or garnish my economic impact payment?

No. Your economic impact payment will not be subject to most types of federal offset or federal garnishment as a result of defaulted student loans or tax debt. However, the payments are still subject to garnishment if you’re behind on child support.

 

I received a message from the IRS asking for my personal information. Is this a scam?

Yes, this is a scam. With the rollout of economic impact payments, there’s an increased risk of scams. It’s important to stay vigilant and aware of unsolicited communications asking for your personal or private information – through mail, email, phone call, text, social media or websites – that:

  • Ask you to verify your SSN, bank account, or credit card information
  • Suggest that you can get a faster payment if they fill out information on your behalf or if you sign over your check to them
  • Send you a bogus check, perhaps in an odd amount, and then ask you to call a number or verify information online in order to cash that check

Be aware that scammers are also able to replicate a government agency’s name and phone number on caller ID. It’s important to remember that a government agency will never ask you for your personal information or threaten your benefits.

If you receive an unsolicited email, text or social media attempt that appears to be from the IRS or an organization associated with the IRS, like the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System, notify the IRS at phishing@irs.gov. You can also learn more about coronavirus-related scams.

 

Source: https://www.consumerfinance.gov/about-us/blog/guide-covid-19-economic-stimulus-checks/



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