Are you eligible for a stimulus check from the Treasury Department?

As of Friday, April 24, the Internal Revenue Service said it had issued 88 million payments to individuals across the country. It plans to send out more than 150 million payments as part of the overall Economic Impact Payments program.

As you can imagine, we’ve received several questions about this, and we wanted to share some of those answers here.  Keep in mind, this is for informational purposes only.  It’s not a replacement for real-life advice, so make sure to always consult your tax professional for more detail.

 

Who gets a check?

If you have a Social Security Number and have not been claimed as a dependent on another taxpayer’s most recent federal tax return, you may be eligible for a stimulus payment of up to $1,200. Any money you get is tax-freeand will not count against a federal tax refund coming your way, or federal benefits you currently receive.

 

Can I get a direct deposit, rather than a paper check?

Yes, assuming you provided a bank account number to the IRS when you last filed federal taxes.  If you did, the IRS should be able to route the stimulus payment right into that bank account.  Another option is to update your account information through the IRS website.  Otherwise, the I.R.S. will mail you a check to the address they have on file for you.

 

When will my payment arrive?

Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin announced that most eligible taxpayers should have received their stimulus money in April.  Taxpayers waiting for a check in the mail will likely get their payments later.

 

Where can I track my payment?

Visit irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-paymentto check your status.

 

Will most eligible taxpayers receive the full $1,200 payment?

Yes.  The payment amount is calculated using your adjusted gross income (AGI) from your most recently filed federal tax return.  A qualifying single-filer with AGI of $75,000 or less will get the full $1,200. The same goes for someone filing as a head of household who has an AGI of $112,500 or less.

 

Joint filers (married couples) with an AGI of $150,000 or less will get a total of $2,400.  Joint filers and heads of households who have kidsmay get more – specifically, an additional $500 for every qualifying child younger than 17. (A married couple or head of household with three young children could receive nearly $4,000)

 

Single filers with AGI of more than $99,000, childless heads of household with AGI of more than $136,500, and childless joint filers with AGI above $198,000 will notreceive stimulus checks.

 

Single filers with 2019 gross income of $12,200 or less and joint filers with 2019 gross income of $24,400 or less must visit irs.gov/coronavirus/non-filers-enter-payment-info-hereto facilitate their payments. This also applies to taxpayers who have not yet filed a 1040 form for the 2019 tax year, or have no plans to do so.

 

Do you have to repay the money later?

No. The stimulus payment is not a loan to you from the federal government.  Misinformation about this is circulating, and it may stem from the way the stimulus checks are defined.  Technically, the stimulus money is a 2020 federal tax credit. The IRS is effectively giving an advance tax refund to eligible taxpayers.

 

Does this stimulus payment count against your 2020 taxes?

No. It has no impact on either federal tax refunds or federal tax liabilities.

 

Again, more detailed questions should be referred to your tax professional, but we hope this information has at least answered some of the questions you may have regarding this extraordinary stimulus step undertaken by the U.S. Treasury.