Economic Impact Payment – Information from the IRS website
May 27, 2020 Update
WASHINGTON – As Economic Impact Payments continue to be successfully delivered, the Internal Revenue Service today reminds taxpayers that some payments are being sent by prepaid debit card. The debit cards arrive in a plain envelope from “Money Network Cardholder Services.”
Nearly 4 million people are being sent their Economic Impact Payment by prepaid debit card, instead of paper check. The determination of which taxpayers received a debit card was made by the Bureau of the Fiscal Service, a part of the Treasury Department that works with the IRS to handle distribution of the payments.
Those who receive their Economic Impact Payment by prepaid debit card can do the following without any fees.
- Make purchases online and at any retail location where Visa is accepted
- Get cash from in-network ATMs
- Transfer funds to their personal bank account
- Check their card balance online, by mobile app or by phone
This free, prepaid card also provides consumer protections available to traditional bank account owners, including protection against fraud, loss and other errors. More information and a Q & A section on the IRS website here.
You can also find a lot of information about these stimulus payments from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) here.
Who is eligible?
U.S. residents will receive the Economic Impact Payment of $1,200 for individual or head of household filers, and $2,400 for married filing jointly if they are not a dependent of another taxpayer and have a work eligible Social Security number with adjusted gross income up to:
- $75,000 for individuals
- $112,500 for head of household filers and
- $150,000 for married couples filing joint returns
Taxpayers will receive a reduced payment if their AGI is between:
- $75,000 and $99,000 if their filing status was single or married filing separately
- 112,500 and $136,500 for head of household
- $150,000 and $198,000 if their filing status was married filing jointly
The amount of the reduced payment will be based upon the taxpayers specific adjusted gross income.
Eligible retirees and recipients of Social Security, Railroad Retirement, disability or veterans’ benefits as well as taxpayers who do not make enough money to normally have to file a tax return will receive a payment. This also includes those who have no income, as well as those whose income comes entirely from certain benefit programs, such as Supplemental Security Income benefits. Retirees who receive either Social Security retirement or Railroad Retirement benefits will also receive payments automatically.
When will I receive it?
Checks will be distributed automatically to most people starting the week of April 13, 2020. Eligible taxpayers who filed tax returns for 2019 or 2018 will receive the payments automatically. As I’ve previously reported, automatic payments will also go out shortly to those receiving Social Security retirement or disability benefits and Railroad Retirement benefits.
The IRS has launched a second new tool that is now available. The new tool, Get My Payment, provides payment updates, including the date your payment is scheduled to be deposited into your bank account or mailed.
Get My Payment also allows you to provide your bank account information so that you can receive your payment more quickly rather than waiting for a paper check. Unfortunately, this feature will be unavailable if the Economic Impact Payment has already been scheduled for delivery.
Entering bank or financial account information will allow the IRS to deposit your payment directly into your account. Otherwise, your payment will be mailed to you as a paper check (that will slow the receipt of your check).
What if I haven’t filed a tax return for 2018 or 2019?
The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) created a new tool that will allow these individuals to get their stimulus checks (Economic Impact Payments). Be sure that you’re at IRS.gov when you start. https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/non-filers-enter-payment-info-here . When you get to the FreeFile registration page for non-filers, you should be at this secure URL:
Who should use the tool above?
- You haven’t filed a 2018 or 2019 return because you are under the normal income limits for filing a tax return. This may include single filers who made under $12,200 and married couples making less than $24,400 in 2019.
- You receive veterans’ disability compensation, pension, or survivor benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs, and you did not file a tax return for the 2018 or 2019 tax years. The IRS has not extended automatic direct deposit to those folks but says they are working on it. In the meantime, the IRS says you can use the tool now or wait until the IRS reviews automatic payment options to simplify delivery for these folks.
- You are a Social Security, SSDI, and Railroad Retirement beneficiary with qualifying dependents. As noted earlier, you will automatically receive your $1,200 Economic Impact Payment, but if you have qualifying children under age 17, you can use the tool to claim the $500 payment per child.
Payment Recipients: Watch for an IRS letter
For security reasons, the IRS plans to mail a letter about the economic impact payment to the taxpayer’s last known address within 15 days after the payment is paid. The letter will provide information on how the payment was made and how to report any failure to receive the payment. If a taxpayer is unsure they’re receiving a legitimate letter, the IRS urges taxpayers to visit IRS.gov first to protect against scam artists.
Avoid Scams related to Economic Payments-COVID19
The IRS urges taxpayers to be on the lookout for scam artists trying to use the economic impact payments as cover for schemes to steal personal information and money. Remember, the IRS will not call, text you, email you or contact you on social media asking for personal or bank account information – even related to the economic impact payments. Also, watch out for emails with attachments or links claiming to have special information about economic impact payments or refunds.