Starting in the middle of April, the IRS began sending out coronavirus impact checks to eligible US residents, and as of the first week of May, the federal agency said it has made approximately 130 million payments. If you’ve not received your payment yet, you are running out of time to fill out a direct deposit form with the IRS to get your stimulus money sent to your bank account or debit card, instead of mailed to you.
We’ll break down what you need to know if you haven’t received your 2020 stimulus check payment yet, including: How to find out if you’re eligible for the economic impact payment. How much money you could get. How to update the IRS with your banking information. What to do if you’re usually exempt from filing taxes or receive federal benefits. If someone in prison or who died qualifies for a check. How to track your 2020 stimulus check if you don’t see the money post in your bank account — although some are experiencing problems with the Get My Payment tool.
We can also help you find the schedule for when you can expect your check. The IRS said if you enter your bank account info in the Get My Payment portal before 9 a.m. PT on a Tuesday, you can see your payment schedule in the portal the following Saturday. The US Postal Service also has a free service that can notify you when your check will arrive in the mail. You may also want to know if second stimulus checks are coming.
Plus, here’s more personal finance information on how you should spend the stimulus money, how to avoid COVID-19 scams, how coronavirus affects your rent payment and how else you can get financial relief during the coronavirus outbreak.
When will the checks will go out?
The IRS said 150 million individuals qualify for a payment, and by the first week of May the federal revenue service said it had issued 130 million payments.
For those who expect to receive their payments through the mail, the IRS said it plans to sharply increase the number of paper checks it sends out through late May and into June. If you want to receive your payment straight to your bank through direct deposit, however, the IRS said you have till noon ET on Wednesday, May 13, to provide your banking detailing in the IRS Get My Payment portal.
Those who set up direct deposit will receive their payments much quicker: The IRS said those who enter their direct deposit information into the Get My Payment portal by the Thursday of a given week may get their payment as soon as the following week. We’ve asked the IRS for clarification.
Here’s what we know about tracking your stimulus payment. If you moved since the last time you filed your taxes, here’s where you can update your address with the IRS.
Is the money yours, free and clear?
Yes. You don’t have to pay taxes on any stimulus payment you receive from the IRS. It’s also not an advance on your usual tax refund. If you get a check now, your 2019 tax refund won’t be smaller as a result. You can spend the total of your stimulus money just like cash. The IRS will only reduce the payment to offset past-due child support.
How much stimulus money you get depends on your taxes
The total amount of your stimulus check will be based on your adjusted gross income, or AGI, from your 2019 federal tax filing or — if you haven’t filed this year — your 2018 filing.
If you’ve filed your 2019 federal tax return, you can find that figure on line 8b of the 2019 1040 federal tax form. It’s line 7 on the 2018 1040 tax form. If you haven’t filed this year, don’t worry. The US government has delayed the due date for 2019 taxes to July 15 as a result of coronavirus.
Here’s who is eligible for a stimulus payment
The amount you’ll receive will depend on your total income in 2019 or 2018. If you qualify, you’ll receive one payment. Here’s who qualifies:
- If you’re a single US resident and have an adjusted gross income less than $99,000
- If you file as the head of a household and earn under $146,500
- If you file jointly without children and earn less than $198,000
Read on for how your payment is calculated and how much you can expect. You can also look at this calculator from the Washington Post.
The IRS said someone who died before receipt of the payment, a non-resident alien and someone who is incarcerated do not qualify for a payment. These payments need to be returned if received, the IRS said.
How much you’ll get as a single taxpayer
A single US resident must have a Social Security number and an AGI under $75,000 to receive the full amount of $1,200. The sum decreases as your AGI goes up. If your adjusted gross income reaches $99,000, you won’t be eligible for the stimulus.
Heads of household
If you file as head of a household, you will get the full $1,200 payment if your AGI is $112,500 or less, with the amount decreasing until you reach $146,500.
Couples filing jointly
Married couples filing jointly without children with an adjusted gross income below $150,000 will get a $2,400 payment, decreasing to zero at $198,000.
For each child aged 16 or younger in the family, parents will get a payment of $500. Parents will not receive a payment for children born, adopted or placed into foster care in 2020 because the payment is based only on information from your 2019 or 2018 tax return. The IRS said you may claim the child next year for an additional credit on your 2020 tax return. Older children and other dependents may not be eligible for a payment.
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If you haven’t filed federal taxes for 2018, do that right now
The IRS said if you haven’t filed your 2018 federal taxes, that could affect your stimulus check and urges anyone who hasn’t filed a 2018 tax return to file now. Be sure to include direct deposit banking information on the return.
Read more: The best tax software for 2020: TurboTax, H&R Block, TaxSlayer and more
If you’re not typically required to file a tax return, you could still receive a payment
Many who normally are not required to file a tax return — including senior citizens, Social Security and Social Security Disability Insurance recipients and railroad retirees — will not need to file a simple tax return to receive the payment, the IRS said.
The IRS said recipients of Supplemental Security Income will automatically receive the full $1,200 economic impact payment, with no action needed on their part. The IRS projects payments for these recipients will go out by early May.
Others, including those who haven’t filed a 2018 or 2019 return because they are under the normal income limits for filing a tax return, can use the Non-Filers portal to get their payment. To get started, go to the IRS’ Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here site and tap the Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here button. As part of the process, you’ll enter personal information and, if you want to receive your stimulus check by direct deposit, banking information.
What about Social Security recipients?
The Treasury Department said that Social Security beneficiaries who are not typically required to file tax returns will not need to file an abbreviated tax return to receive a payment. Instead, the IRS will use the information on Form SSA-1099 for Social Security beneficiaries who did not file tax returns in 2018 or 2019.
The IRS said automatic payments should already be arriving for recipients of Social Security, survivors or disability insurance benefits and Railroad Retirement benefits.
What about those who receive federal benefits and have children?
The IRS said those who receive federal benefits, have dependent children and weren’t required to file a tax return in 2018 or 2019 needed to act by late April or early May to receive a full payment this year.
Without submitting this information by the due date, the IRS will give you $1,200 this year and the additional $500 per eligible child with your return filing for tax year 2020 — roughly a year from now.
SSI and VA beneficiaries had until May 5 to update the IRS.
The update deadline for who receive Social Security, survivor or disability, or Railroad Retirement benefits was April 22. The IRS said recipients in those groups have been scheduled to receive checks.
For more on how to use the Non-Filers tool, see the section above titled “If you’re not typically required to file a tax return…” to learn more.
You can also set up direct deposit to have the check sent to your bank account
If you don’t have direct deposit to your bank account set up, but you want to receive the payment electronically, the IRS said you have a noon ET, Wednesday, May 13, deadline to provide your banking detailing in the IRS Get My Payment portal.
Here’s what we know about the Get My Payment tool and deadline. To avoid scams, the IRS cautions you not to provide your direct deposit or other banking information to others who offer to help you set up an electronic transfer.
Do you need to sign up, apply or request your check?
For most, the federal government will automatically send your check to you electronically or in the mail, if you qualify. If you’ve not filed a tax return for 2018 or 2019, the IRS said you may need to file one to receive a payment. Scroll up to the section “If you’re typically not required to file a tax return, you can still receive a payment” for details on who is required to file and how.
What to do if you don’t receive your check
If you qualify for a payment, the IRS plans to mail you a letter about your payment to your last known address within 15 days after it sends the money. The IRS said the letter will provide information on how the IRS made the payment and how to report not receiving the payment if you don’t get it. Several CNET readers, however, are reporting the letter does not include clear instructions for what to do if you don’t receive the payment. We’ve asked the IRS for clarification.
We have tips for how best to use your stimulus check and how to avoid being scammed. In addition to the economic stimulus package, the US government delayed the income tax filing deadline to July 15. If you need more help, here’s how to get financial relief.