Economic Impact Payment Update From IRS and US Treasury

Most Americans are curious to know the status of their economic impact payment (also known as a COVID-19 stimulus check), which was announced in March. Some are asking how to provide direct deposit information to the IRS if they already filed their return and did not provide their banking information. Others have asked about the status of their children, or if their college student is eligible for a stimulus check. Today we have compiled a list of links and information to help you find the right answer for your personal situation.

Good News For Non-Filers Via Twitter

Earlier today via Twitter, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (@stevenmnuchin1) announced that “@USTreasury and @IRSNews launched a free web portal for Americans who don’t usually file a tax return, to submit their information online to make certain you receive your economic impact payment as quickly and securely as possible.” If you meet the criteria listed on the Non-filers information page, you may continue to the free web portal to sign up for an account to file for a stimulus payment.

If you usually receive your tax refund by check, you have the option to do nothing. The US Treasury will issue checks to the lowest-income Americans first. Depending on your income, you may not see a check for a few months. Make certain you make the right decision based on your personal financial situation.

Where’s My Stimulus Payment?

If you have questions about the status of your economic impact payment, the IRS is requesting that you do not call the IRS. The IRS is in the process of creating a link on their website so you can get updates on your payment status.

Use the “Get My Payment” application (coming mid-April) to:

  • Check your payment status
  • Confirm your payment type: direct deposit or check
  • Enter your bank account information for direct deposit if the IRS does not have your direct deposit information and your payment has not been sent yet

What are the financial thresholds to be eligible for a stimulus check?

The official answer is: “Eligible taxpayers who filed tax returns for either 2019 or 2018 will automatically receive an economic impact payment of up to $1,200 for individuals or $2,400 for married couples and up to $500 for each qualifying child.” Keep in mind, the stimulus payments are based on three items: your adjusted gross income (AGI), your filing status and number of children age 16 and under.

How to find your adjusted gross income (AGI) for 2019 or 2018

If you already filed for tax year 2019:

  • Use the amount on Line 8b for Form 1040
  • Use the amount on Line 8b for Form 1040-SR

If you have not filed your 2019 return, use your AGI from 2018. 

  • Use the amount on Line 7 for Form 1040

What was your filing status?

Look at the top of page 1 of your 2019 or 2018 tax return to see which box was checked:  Single, Married filing jointly, Married filing separately, Head of Household or Qualifying widow(er).

Your AGI was higher than $75,000.

If your AGI was up to $75,000 for an individual (single), you should receive $1,200. If your AGI was up to $150,000 and you are married and filed a joint return with your spouse, you should receive a full payment, which is $2,400. If your income exceeds the $75,000 or $150,000 threshold, the payment amount will be reduced by $5 for each $100 above each threshold.

Single filers with income exceeding $99,000 and $198,000 for joint filers with no children are not eligible. Social Security recipients and railroad retirees who are otherwise not required to file a tax return are also eligible and will not be required to file a return. For more information visit the Economic Impact Payment Information Center.

An example of a Stimulus Check Calculator. Retrieved
An example of a stimulus check calculator available for free online. Retrieved from https://www.kiplinger.com/tool/taxes/T023-S001-stimulus-check-calculator-2020/index.php

Stimulus Check Calculators

If you type “stimulus check calculator” into Google, you will find many websites with stimulus check calculators. If you know your AGI, how you filed, and how many dependents age 16 or under you claimed, you can get an estimate of your stimulus check amount.

For demonstration purposes, we used the free Stimulus Check Calculator available on Kiplinger’s website and submitted the following information:

  • A married couple, who filed jointly
  • They claimed 2 children under the age of 16
  • They already filed their 2019 taxes; their AGI was $125,500

According to the calculator, this couple’s estimated stimulus check should be $3,400.

My child filed a tax return. Do they qualify for a stimulus check or will I receive $500?

If you claimed the child who filed a tax return as a dependent, your child will not receive a stimulus check. A parent will only receive $500 per child if the child is 16 years old or younger.  Many parents of college students are inquiring about stimulus payments for their student who filed a return. Again, if you claimed your college student as a dependent, at this time, there is no financial relief.

When will I receive my Economic Impact Payment?

At this time, the exact date is not known. The IRS was updating its website as this article was written. Be certain to visit the IRS Economic Payment website page often, or follow the IRS or US Treasury on Twitter to find out when the payment tracker goes live. As soon as we know, we will pass the information along to you.

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