Weeks after Congress and President Trump first enacted the $2 trillion CARES Act stimulus package in late March, taxpayers can expect to start seeing relief checks trickling in. The bill is meant to help Americans as they deal with economic fallout from the coronavirus crisis affecting people around the world.
According to a tweet from the IRS on April 11, the federal government has already begun sending automatic payments to taxpayers who filed tax returns in 2018 or 2019 and provided direct deposit information at the time. Those who didn’t provide online banking information can expect a paper check to be mailed to them. In addition, most seniors and retirees will receive their payments in the “near future,” the IRS said, according to USA Today. They won’t need to take any extra steps to access their relief money, unless they need to claim a dependent.
Assuming that you meet the income thresholds based off of the adjusted gross income from your federal tax returns, individuals who make $75,000 or less can expect $1,200 in relief money, while married couples filing jointly can expect $2,400 if they make $150,000 or less. Meanwhile, those with dependent children who are under 17 years old will receive $500 per child.
Depending on a few factors, you might still be eligible to receive some money if you don’t meet those requirements. Likewise, some individuals might need to fill out some extra paperwork to receive their Economic Impact Payment.
Here’s what to know about your stimulus check and if you need to take any extra steps to get your money.
Keep in mind that not everyone will get $1,200 or, in some cases, anything at all.
Individuals who make more than $75,000 might be still entitled to some compensation through the stimulus package (although not the full $1,200), depending on their income.
The CARES Act states that the check will be reduced by $5 for every additional $100 you earn above $75,000. For example, you could expect to receive a stimulus check of $950 if you make $80,000. The cut-off for eligibility is $99,000 for individuals and $198,000 for joint filers with no kids.
In addition to these income requirements, there are a few other exceptions that might prevent you from taking part in the package.
For one, currently unemployed people who earned over $99,000 in 2019 (or 2018, if they haven’t filed 2019 taxes yet) won’t be able to get a check because the government bases eligibility off of last year’s tax returns. However, they may receive compensation once they submit their taxes next year.
In addition, there might be an issue for parents or guardians who claim a student who’s at least 17 years old as a dependent. The $500 per child payment only qualifies for individuals who are 16 years old or younger, and the students themselves won’t be eligible for a stimulus check themselves because they’ve been claimed as a dependent.
However, those who are older than 16 and who have a job might still be eligible if they filed taxes in 2018 or 2019 and haven’t been claimed as a dependent by someone else.
Taxpayers who don’t usually file a tax return will need to take a few extra steps to get their stimulus checks.
There’s been some concern about how individuals who weren’t required to file a tax return in 2019 will get their Economic Impact Payment.
Individuals who made under the $12,200 and married couples who made less than $24,400 in 2019 won’t automatically receive their check in the mail.
Instead, they’ll want to check out the Internal Revenue Service’s online form for non-filers and fill it out with their personal information, direct deposit information, and the information of any qualifying dependent if they’re trying to apply for the $500 payment for children 16 and under.
While Social Security, Social Security Disability Insurance, and Railroad Retirement recipients will automatically receive their payments either by direct deposit or mail, they’ll also need to fill out this form as well if they want to claim a dependent.
You can start seeing your check as early as April 11, depending on a few factors.
The federal government has already started sending Economic Impact Payments to taxpayers who provided their direct deposit statement, and many people should see their check in their account by April 14, according to reporting from the Washington Post. For some, however, it will take longer, particularly if you’re going to receive a paper check.
However, if you didn’t previously provide this information to the IRS, your money will take a little longer to get to you. The IRS will start mailing out stimulus checks to taxpayers starting on April 24, beginning with those with the lowest gross incomes.
Because the government will only be mailing about 5 million checks per week through September, there’s a chance that it’ll take you a few months to get your money if you didn’t previously give the IRS your direct deposit information.
Luckily, the IRS will be introducing an online service on its website starting on April 17 called Get My Payment, where you’ll be able to check on the status of your payment and add your bank account information if you choose. However, you’ll want to act quickly if you want to get your check directly deposited into your bank account instead of mailed to your address, because you can’t change it once the delivery has been scheduled.
According to the CARES Act, the IRS will also mail all Economic Impact Payment recipients a notice a few weeks after distributing their checks to let them know how and where they got their money. If you still haven’t gotten your check or direct deposit by the time you get this notice, you can use the contact information on the notice to call the IRS and figure out where to find your payment.