The bipartisan $2 trillion economic relief plan passed by Congress offers direct assistance to millions of American families affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Here are answers to common questions about stimulus checks. For case specific information, visit the IRS' website: here.
How Do I Know If I Get a Stimulus Check?
If one of the following describes you, then you will get a stimulus check:
- You are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident who filed federal income taxes for 2018 or 2019 and if you meet the income thresholds.
- You receive Social Security retirement, disability (SSDI), or survivor benefits.
- You receive Railroad Retirement benefits.
Do I need to do anything to get a stimulus check?
If you fit the criteria above and have filed income taxes for 2018 and/or 2019, then you don’t need to do anything to get a stimulus check. You will get a stimulus check automatically.
What are the income thresholds to get a stimulus check?
If your income is greater than these amounts, you will NOT get a stimulus check:
- Single Filer: $99,000
- Joint Filer (no children): $198,000
If your adjusted gross income is lower than these numbers, you can qualify for a stimulus check of $1,200:
- Single Filer: $75,000
- Head of Household: $112,500
- Married/Joint Filer: $150,000
How much money will I get?
If your adjusted gross income is less than the above income thresholds, your stimulus check amount will be:
- Individuals: $1,200
- Married Couples: $2,400
- Dependent Children (16 or younger): $500
What if my income is below the maximum income amount, but higher than the income levels that get the full $1,200 stimulus check?
The stimulus check amount phases out by $5 for every $100 above certain income levels based on your tax filing status. This means your stimulus check will get reduced by $5 for every $100 more in adjusted gross income that you have above $75,000 (individual/single filer), $112,500 (head of household) and $150,000 (married/joint filer) up to the maximum income threshold.
Do I have to pay income taxes on my stimulus check?
No, you don’t have to pay income taxes on your stimulus check.
When will I get my stimulus check?
80 million stimulus checks were sent out on April 10th. These payments are being automatically issued to individuals who filed 2019 or 2018 federal tax returns and received a refund using direct deposit. These checks should start appearing in bank accounts by April 15. Additional direct payments will be made for individuals who share their bank information. For all others checks will be mailed out.
I didn’t provide my direct deposit information on my tax return. How do I do so?
The IRS has released a new online tool called Get My Payment, which enables you to input your direct deposit (bank account) information to get your stimulus check faster. This tool will also help with tracking the status of your payment.
When Will I Get Paper Stimulus Checks?
If you did not provide direct deposit information, the IRS will send you a paper stimulus check. The IRS will start sending paper stimulus checks beginning in May. Each week, the IRS plans to send approximately 5 million paper stimulus checks, starting with taxpayers with the lowest adjusted gross income. If that schedule holds, paper checks could take several months between May and September (depending on your adjusted gross income) to arrive.
What if I was Claimed a Dependent in 2018 or 2019?
The IRS will look to your most recent available data. So, if someone claimed you as a dependent in 2018 but will not or has not in 2019, then the individual should file a tax return for 2019 as soon as possible, even if that individual has had no income. If a taxpayer was not a dependent in 2018 and has not yet submitted their 2019 returns, they will also get a check.
If a taxpayer was a dependent in 2018, but not in 2019 (for example they graduated college in 2018), then they need to go ahead and file 2019 returns in order to qualify for eligibility for stimulus payments, even if they don’t have income. If for whatever reason, the combination of someone’s dependent status in a prior tax year and an information lag that led them not to file a 2019 return resulted in no rebate check being issued, the taxpayer in question would still be eligible to claim the tax credit on their 2020 taxes.
I’m a college student. Will I get a stimulus check?
It depends. If someone claimed you as a dependent on their federal tax return, then unfortunately, you won’t get a stimulus check. If you’re ages 17-24, and someone claimed you as a dependent on their federal tax return, that person also will not get the dependent payment either. l
Will I Receive the $500 Dependent Payment for My Dependents?
To qualify for the $500 dependent payment, the dependent must be 16-years-old or younger. If your child is older than 16-years-old, unfortunately you won’t receive the $500 for each dependent. That means that many high school juniors and seniors - even if you financially support them - won’t qualify as dependents for purposes of the stimulus check.
I claim my parents as dependents on my tax return. Can I get a stimulus check for them?
Unfortunately, no. A dependent for purposes of the stimulus check means the dependent must be 16-years-old or younger. So, they would not qualify for the $500 dependent payment, which uses the same language and requirements as the Child Tax Credit.
What if I am a retiree who receives Social Security or Railroad Retiree benefits?
The IRS confirmed that retirees who receive Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits do not need to do anything to receive their payments, they will receive them automatically, just as they would their normal benefits payment.
What if I don’t typically file taxes?
The IRS launched a new tool, Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info, for low income Americans who do not typically file taxes to enter their banking information to receive the payment. If someone else claimed you on their tax return, you will not be eligible for the Economic Impact Payment or using the Non-Filer tool.
This tool is for:
- Lower income: Individuals who haven't filed a 2018 or 2019 return because they 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.
- Veterans beneficiaries and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients: The IRS continues to explore ways to see if Economic Impact Payments can be made automatically to SSI recipients and those who receive veterans disability compensation, pension or survivor benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs and who did not file a tax return for the 2018 or 2019 tax years. People in these groups can either use Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info option now or wait as the IRS continues to review automatic payment options to simplify delivery for these groups.
- Social Security, SSDI and Railroad Retirement beneficiaries with qualifying dependents: These groups will automatically receive $1,200 Economic Impact Payments. People in this group who have qualifying children under age 17 may use Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info to claim the $500 payment per child.
What if I can’t file my taxes right away?
The economic impact payments (stimulus checks) will be available through the end of 2020, so if you can’t file right away, you still have time to do so, but you won’t receive a stimulus payment until you do.