People have lots of questions about the COVID-19 stimulus checks that are coming for Americans. You may be wondering if and when you will be receiving such a check. Let’s break down the basics.
What Is the Coronavirus Stimulus Package?
The United States passed a stimulus plan totaling $2 trillion on March 27. The goal of the stimulus package is to send direct payments to American taxpayers to help them get through the unprecedented COVID-19 situation. The lump sum you receive will be determined by the income claimed on your 2019 tax return – or your 2018 tax return, if you have not yet filed for the year.
Who Qualifies for the COVID-19 Stimulus Checks?
First, you must be a United States citizen or resident alien in order to receive a check. Additionally, you will only qualify for a check if you filed a tax return for either 2018 or 2019. A Form SSA-1099, Social Security Benefit Statement, Form RRB-1099, or Social Security Equivalent Benefit Statement will also qualify you. You also must not be claimed as a dependent on another person’s tax return if you are over the age of 16.
How Much Will You Get From the Government?
The amount you receive in your COVID-19 stimulus check will be determined by your adjusted gross income for either 2019 or 2018. Even minors will be receiving checks. Here’s a breakdown of the key things to know:
- “Single” filers with adjusted gross incomes up to $75,000 are eligible for $1,200.
- For single filers, the payment amount drops by $5 for every $100 in income above $75,000.
- “Married filing jointly” filers are eligible to receive up to $2,400 if they have adjusted gross incomes below $150,000.
- Married couples will receive payments on a sliding scale up to $198,000.
- Married couples will receive $500 for each dependent under the age of 16 claimed on their tax returns.
- Anyone who files as “head of household” is eligible for a $1,200 check and $500 for each child claimed on a return if adjusted gross income is $112,500 or less.
- “Head of household” filers can also receive checks on a sliding scale if they earn up to $136,500 annually.
The caps are $2,400 for married couples and $1,200 for single filers. Those caps do not include the $500 per dependent under the age of 16 included in the stimulus plan.
Do you qualify for a COVID-19 stimulus check if you receive a Social Security check? Yes, you qualify for a payment as long as you do not exceed the income limits mentioned above. Let’s move on to discuss how your check will be coming to you.
How Will You Receive Your Stimulus Check?
COVID-19 stimulus money will either be mailed or deposited directly into your bank account. If you receive a physical check, you can cash or deposit it the same way that you would any other type of check. The IRS will use the information in your 2018 or 2019 return to decide how your money should be sent to you.
We also have word that the Department of Treasury is in the process of setting up a portal for people to use for accessing their payments electronically if they did not use direct deposits for their 2018 or 2019 tax returns.
Some Additional Things to Know About COVID-19 Stimulus Checks
Keep in mind that the IRS will first look for your 2019 return, so if you haven’t filed it yet, it may be important to do so. Your 2018 return will only be used if you haven’t yet filed for this year. Unfortunately, you may not be able to access a $500 payment for a dependent if you welcomed a new child unless you’ve filed for 2019.
COVID-19 Stimulus Check FAQs
Do Self-Employed People Qualify for COVID-19 Stimulus Checks?
Yes, all self-employed people who don’t exceed the income threshold qualify for checks.
Will United States Citizens Living Abroad Receive Checks?
Yes, the IRS will use the Social Security numbers of qualifying people living abroad to issue checks.
Will the IRS Garnish My COVID-19 Stimulus Check If My Wages Are Currently Being Garnished Due to Debt?
No, the IRS will not touch your COVID-19 check.
Do I Have to Pay Taxes on My COVID-19 Check?
No, the money you receive from your COVID-19 check is not taxable. It’s possible that you could be required to pay back a portion of the payment you receive if your 2020 income is substantially higher than the income the IRS used to determine your eligibility. This is something to revisit when getting your taxes filed in 2021.
Contact Tax Group Center Today
If you have questions or want to file your 2019 tax return, get in touch with us. Tax Group Center can help you to get your taxes filed ASAP if you’re in this predicament. Filing your 2019 taxes before checks are issued will also give you an opportunity to make sure the IRS has the current information regarding your direct deposit. Our team of tax professionals is standing by to help!