Feds say stimulus money is on the way

Almost a month since President Trump signed the $2.2 trillion federal stimulus bill, the U.S. Treasury Department has targeted April 24, 2020 as the day when “a large majority” of taxpayers will receive the stimulus payment. For the millions of others, the Internal Revenue Service has created an online tool on the IRS website to track stimulus payments, update information to get those payments faster or to register for the stimulus payments.

Taxpayers who have already filed their 2018 or 2019 tax returns and requested direct deposit will be the first to receive the payments. In that group, the IRS will start with taxpayers with the lowest incomes.

All Social Security recipients regardless of filing taxes will automatically receive the stimulus money.

Taxpayers who have not authorized direct deposit in the last two tax years or have not been eligible for a refund in the past two years  will receive a check in the mail which could take weeks.  Those taxpayers can give the IRS their bank information with the new IRS online tool Get My Payment  to get their stimulus by direct deposit. 

To use the Get My Payment  portal to track a payment a taxpayer needs to enter their Social Security number and birth date.  The IRS will update the site daily, so if a taxpayer gets a message that their payment is unavailable the IRS suggests to check back once a day.   

To update your bank information on the Get My Payment  portal you will need to input your adjusted gross income from your must recent tax return. You will also need to provide your bank account and routing number.  The only catch is if your payment has already been scheduled for delivery by check or to another bank account, you will not be able to update your account. 

Non-filers, those who do not make the threshold for filing taxes ( $12,200 for individuals and $24,400 for married ) or had no income, must use the Get My Payment tool to input their information to receive a stimulus payment. On the IRS web page is a section for non-fliers to fill out to receive the stimulus payment. 

The eligibility for stimulus money is based on yearly income. The following are not eligible for any payments:

  • Individuals earning more than $99,000
  • head of households with one child who earn more than $146,500
  • married couples without children earning more than $198,000

Others ineligible for payments are those claimed as dependents (like college students) and anyone without a Social Security number. 

There is a provision for families with children to go above the $148,500 cap and receive a payment.  The payment formula phases out for a family of four at $218,000.  

The stimulus payments for those who are eligible:

  • $1,200 for individuals and heads of households
  • Up to $2,400 for married couples
  • $500 per child

The amount of adjusted gross income does effect the sliding scale payment formula. Payments start to phase lower for these taxpayers:

  • Individuals with adjusted gross income between $75,000 and $99,000
  • Heads of households with adjusted gross income more than $112,000
  • Married couples with adjusted gross income more than $150,000

The stimulus money does not need to be paid back and it will not be taxed as income nor will it affect any 2019 tax refunds.   Money owed to the IRS will not be taken out of the payments. 

The IRS is warning about scams concerning the stimulus payments with a whole web page dedicated to stimulus payment scams. The basic information is to remember that the IRS never requests personal information by telephone, text, email or social media.  The IRS also specifically warns on its website about  these potential stimulus scammer tactics:

  • Emphasize the words “Stimulus Check” or “Stimulus Payment.” The official term is economic impact payment.
  • Ask the taxpayer to sign over their economic impact payment check to them.
  • Ask by phone, email, text or social media for verification of personal and/or banking information saying that the information is needed to receive or speed up their economic impact payment.
  • Suggest that they can get a tax refund or economic impact payment faster by working on the taxpayer’s behalf. This scam could be conducted by social media or even in person.
  • Mail the taxpayer a bogus check, perhaps in an odd amount, then tell the taxpayer to call a number or verify information online in order to cash it.

For more information from the IRS on Stimulus scams: IRS WARNING 

https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-issues-warning-about-coronavirus-related-scams-watch-out-for-schemes-tied-to-economic-impact-payments

Link to Get My Payment

https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payments

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