Relief Bill: Stimulus Checks

As part of the $2 trillion economic relief bill signed into law by President Trump on March 27, 2020, the IRS will be sending payments to millions of Americans. At this time, here’s what we know and we will keep you posted as more guidance is provided by the government:

  • The stimulus payment amounts will vary based on your adjusted gross income and are a one-time payment. Everyone must have a Social Security number in order to be eligible.

  • Single adults earning $75,000 or less will receive $1,200.

  • Married Couples with no children earning $150,000 or less will receive a total of $2,400.

  • Individuals filing as head of household and earning $112,500 or less will receive $1,200.

  • For every qualifying child age 16 or under, the payment will be an additional $500.

  • The payment begins to decrease for taxpayers with earnings greater than the above figures and stops for single individuals earning $99,000 or married couples with no children earning $198,000. Families with two children will no longer be eligible for any payments if their earnings exceed $218,000.

  • Most taxpayers who are receiving Social Security retirement and disability payments, as well as the unemployed and Veterans will receive a stimulus payment. U.S. citizens abroad will also receive a payment if they meet the income requirements.

  • College students claimed as a dependent on a tax return are not eligible for a payment. Taxing authorities typically consider students under age 24 as a dependent if their parent pays for at least half of their expenses.

  • Payments will be based on your 2019 return. If you have not filed your 2019 return yet, it can be based off of your 2018 return or a Social Security statement which shows the income your employer reported to the IRS. Not having a recent tax filing on record could impact the mailings of stimulus checks.

  • Those who anticipate being eligible due to loss of income in 2020 will not receive a payment. However, because the payment is technically an advance on a tax credit that is available for the entire year, you may benefit once you have filed your 2020 taxes.

  • The relief bill suspends nearly all efforts to garnish tax refunds to repay debts, including student loan defaults and past due IRS amounts. However, this waiver may not apply to individuals who are past due on child support payments. According to Senator Chuck Grassley, those who are behind in their child support either might not qualify or will see the amount of their check significantly reduced.

  • You do not need to apply to receive payment if you filed electronically, the IRS will be transferring the money via direct deposit to the account listed on your tax return. Without direct deposit, you will likely receive payment via a check.

  • President Trump indicated that payments will be sent out April 6, Most people are expected to get their payments within three weeks, although experts caution that it could take longer. You should receive a paper notice in the mail containing information about the payment no later than a few weeks after it has been dispersed.