IRS landing page for Coronavirus Updates - https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus
CAUTION–the information contained in this Fact Sheet may change when the IRS releases additional information about the Act to the public. The CARES Act was drafted quickly by Congress and the government is still looking at ways to make sure the Act works as it is supposed to. Last updated 4-10-2020.
What is it? The Economic Impact Payment (stimulus payment) is an advance payment of a 2020 refundable tax credit. If a taxpayer does not receive the money now, they can claim it on their 2020 tax return.
How much is it? The stimulus payment is based on the taxpayer’s filing status, number of dependents, and the taxpayer’s Adjusted Gross Income (AGI). * Single filers with an AGI of $75,000 or less, will receive $1,200. * Married Filing Joint filers with an AGI of $150,000 or less will receive $2,400. * An additional $500 will be paid for each eligible child (16 years old or younger).
Where will the IRS send the money? It will be deposited directly into the bank account that the taxpayer included on their 2019 tax return. If no return was filed for the 2019 tax year, then the information on the 2018 tax return will be used. * If no direct deposit information was included in the tax return, then a paper check will be sent to the taxpayer’s last known address. This information will be taken from the last tax return that was filed. * The IRS will send a notice to taxpayers about 15 days after the stimulus payment is made. That notice will provide the amount of the payment, the way it was paid, and a telephone number to call if the taxpayer does not receive the payment.
When will the IRS send the money?
* Direct deposits will start the week of April 13th and paper checks will be mailed beginning May 4th. It could take as long as 20 weeks for the check to be sent.
What if the IRS does not have my direct deposit information?
* The IRS is offering a way for people to enter their new direct deposit information online. Visit https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/non-filers-enter-payment-info-here to enter your direct deposit information.
* Make sure you have the following information ready:
- Your full name, current mailing address, and your email address. - Your date of birth and Social Security Number (SSN) - Your bank account number, bank account type (checking or savings), and the routing number, if you have one. - The Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (IP PIN) that the IRS sent you earlier this year, if you have one
- You driver’s license or state-issued ID, if you have one. - For each qualifying child: their name, SSN or Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number, and their relationship to you or your spouse
* This link will direct you to the Free File website to create a free account. - You will give your filing status (Single or Married Filing Jointly) and enter the SSNs for you, your spouse, and any eligible children. - Next, you will enter your bank account information. If you do not have a bank account, then the IRS will send you a paper check. - Finally, you will need your driver’s license or state-issued ID to enter your personal information. Leave this blank if you do not have the information. * Once you’re done, you will get a confirmation email. If there was a problem with your information, then the email will let you know how to fix it.
Can everyone use the online tool to update their banking information or address?
* No. Do not use the online tool if you have already filed your 2019 tax return. Do not use the online tool if you are required to file a tax return for 2019. Instead, you should file your 2019 tax return electronically and enter your banking information.
Is there a way to check when I will get the stimulus payment?
* Yes, the IRS will offer an online tool called Get My Payment. This tool should be available by April 17th, and it is similar to their online tool Where’s My Refund? * This new tool will let you check the status of your stimulus payment. It will give you the date that the stimulus payment is expected to be deposited into your bank account or when the IRS plans to mail a paper check. * This tool might also give you another way to update your banking information.
Can I pay someone to help me get the stimulus payment faster?
* NO, if someone says they can do this for you, it is probably a scam!
What if I don’t file a tax return because my only income is Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits?
* Then you do not need to do anything. The IRS will send you the $1,200 stimulus payment automatically. They will send your stimulus payment to you the same way that you now receive your monthly benefits.
What if I receive Social Security, SSDI, or Railroad Retirement benefits AND have an eligible dependent–will I get the extra $500?
* Yes, but you must use the online tool on to claim these dependents.
What if I don’t file a tax return because my only income is Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or service-related VA disability pension or if I don’t have any income?
* You may use the online tool to update your address and direct deposit information. * The IRS is still working on options to send the stimulus payments to people who receive SSI and VA disability pension automatically. You may choose to wait for more information on this or you may use the online tool to update your information. * If you did not file a tax return for 2019 or 2018 because you did not have any income, then you should use the online portal to give the IRS your banking information or to update your address.
Will the stimulus payment affect my SSI?
* Not according to the Social Security Administration website. It says that they will not treat the stimulus “payments as income for SSI recipients, and the payments are excluded from resources for 12 months.” https://blog.ssa.gov/commissionerof-social-security-shares-update-about-covid-19-economic-impact-payments-forbeneficiaries/
Will I get the stimulus payment if I owe the IRS or another government agency debt?
* YES – if you owe the IRS money or if it is for another federal or state debt. * NO – if the debt is for back-owed child support.
What if someone else claimed me as a dependent on their tax return?
* If you were claimed as a dependent in 2019, you won’t get the stimulus payment. * If you were claimed as a dependent in 2018, but you can file your own tax return for 2019, then you should file your 2019 tax return electronically.
What if I’m the victim of tax preparer fraud or the victim of tax-related identity theft and the direct deposit information on the 2019 tax return doesn’t belong to me?
* Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas’ (LANWT) Low Income Taxpayer Clinic provides legal assistance and information on dealing with the IRS and helps with federal tax questions. Individuals may apply for legal assistance with LANWT by calling our Legal Aid Line at 888-529-5577 or by applying online at www.lanwt.org. You can also visit our website to find the Legal Aid office near you.
Should I file my 2019 tax return? (The IRS website says the following as of 4-9-2020)
* If you usually file a tax return and are required to file taxes, then you should file your 2019 tax return electronically by using the IRS’ “Free File” resources. Please visit https://www.irs.gov/filing/free-file-do-your-federal-taxes-for-free. * If you usually do not file a tax return because you don’t have enough income, or you receive SSI payments, or only earn certain veterans’ benefits, then you should WAIT to file a 2019 tax return. You may not have to file a 2019 tax return. Check https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/non-filers-enter-payment-info-here to find out if you are able to provide your direct deposit information to the IRS.
What if I need to file a tax return?
* If you have not filed either a 2018 or 2019 tax return and you do not have enough information to file a 2019 tax return, then you should file your 2018 tax return. * Visit https://www.irs.gov/individuals/get-transcript for more information to get the documents you need to prepare either your 2019 or 2018 tax return.
- The “Wage and Income Transcript” provides information that has been reported to the IRS by your employer or someone else who paid you for work. This information will help you prepare your tax return. * It includes income statements (such as W-2 and 1099 forms) and other information that will help you get credits you can claim (such as mortgage and student interest statements). * The “Tax Return Transcript” provides information that you reported on your tax return. If you are filing a tax return electronically, you will need a previous year’s AGI. * For a 2019 tax return, you’ll need your 2018 Tax Return Transcript. * For a 2018 tax return, you’ll need your 2017 Tax Return Transcript.
CAUTION: When you file a tax return, you are swearing that the information you provide is complete and correct. You face penalties if you know that you are filing an incorrect return.
What can I do now?
- Look to other support and relief that is available, such as unemployment benefits. Some cities and organizations are offering to help people with rent or utility payments. - Update your address at https://www.usa.gov/post-office (USPS official website), or visit https://www.irs.gov/forms-pubs/about-form-8822 to download a change of address form (Form 8822) and mail it to the IRS. - If you are experiencing an economic hardship, contact the Taxpayer Advocate Service in Dallas at (214) 413-6500.
LAST UPDATED: Miranda Rhyne—4/10/2020