FAQ: Questions related to government issued stimulus checks

FAQ: Questions related to government issued stimulus checks

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The information below was provided by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Department of Treasury.

Who is eligible to receive a payment?

Tax filers with adjusted gross income up to $75,000 for individuals and up to $150,000 for married couples filing joint returns will receive the full payment. For filers with income above those amounts, the payment amount is reduced by $5 for each $100 above the $75,000/$150,000 thresholds. Single filers with income exceeding $99,000 and $198,000 for joint filers with no children are not eligible.

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. Parents also receive $500 for each qualifying child.

Eligible retirees and recipients of Social Security retirement, disability (SSDI), survivors benefits, Railroad Retirement, or veterans benefits, as well as individuals who do not make enough money to normally have to file a tax return, are also eligible for the payment. This includes those who have no income, as well as those whose income comes entirely from federal benefit programs, such as supplemental security income (SSI) benefits. No minimum income is needed for the Payment.

How will the IRS know where to send my payments?

If you received direct deposit of your refund based on your 2019 tax return (or 2018 tax return if you haven’t filed your 2019 tax return), the IRS has sent your Payment to the bank account provided on the most recent tax return. If you filed a Form 8888, Allocation of Refund, with your tax return to split your refund into multiple accounts, your Payment was deposited to the first bank account listed. You cannot change your account information.

If you filed your 2019 or 2018 tax return but did not receive your refund by direct deposit, your payment will be mailed to the address we have on file even if you also receive Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits by direct deposit. This is generally the address on your most recent tax return or as updated through the United States Postal Service (USPS).

If you did not receive your refund by direct deposit based on your 2019 tax return (or 2018 tax return if you haven’t filed your 2019 tax return), you have the opportunity to provide bank account information through the IRS Get My Payment tool before your Payment is processed. Direct deposit is the fastest way to receive your Payment.

What if the bank account number I used on my recent tax returns is closed or no longer active? Can I switch and be mailed a payment?

If the account is closed or no longer active, the bank will reject the deposit and you will be issued a check that will be mailed to the address we have on file for you. This is generally the address on your most recent tax return or as updated through the United States Postal Service (USPS). You do not need to call the IRS to change your Payment method or update your address at this time.

As required by law and for security reasons, a letter about the payment will be mailed to each recipient’s last known address within 15 days after the payment is made. The letter will provide information on how the Payment was made and how to report any failure to receive the payment.

If I receive Social Security benefits, do I need to file a tax return to receive my Economic Impact Payment?

The Department of the Treasury and the IRS announced that Social Security beneficiaries who are not typically required to file tax returns will not need to file an abbreviated tax return to receive an Economic Impact Payment. Instead, payments will be automatically deposited into their bank accounts. Recipients will receive these payments as a direct deposit or by paper check, just as they would normally receive their benefits.

Will the IRS call or email me to get my bank information to receive my Economic Impact Payment?

No, the IRS is not going to call or email you asking to verify or provide your financial information so you can get an Economic Impact Payment. You should also watch for text messages, websites, and social media attempts to get your money or personal information.

Be on the lookout! Scammers may:

  • Emphasize the words “stimulus check” or “stimulus payment.” The official term is economic impact payment.
  • Ask you to sign over your 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 your economic impact payment.
  • Suggest that you can get a tax refund or economic impact payment faster by working on your behalf. This scam could be conducted by social media or even in person.
  • Mail you a bogus check, perhaps in an odd amount, then tell you to call a number or verify information online in order to cash it.

If you receive unsolicited emails, text messages or social media attempts to gather information that appear to be from either the IRS or an organization closely linked to the IRS, such as the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS), forward it to phishing@irs.gov.

Taxpayers are encouraged not to engage potential scammers online or on the phone. Learn more about reporting suspected scams by going to the Report Phishing and Online Scams page on IRS.gov.

Official IRS information about the COVID-19 pandemic and economic impact payments can be found on the Coronavirus Tax Relief page on IRS.gov. The page is updated quickly when new information is available.

How can I check the status of my Economic Impact Payment?

The IRS has a free web app called “Get My Payment” that you can use to check the status of your Economic Impact Payment. The app also allows you to securely send your banking information to the IRS, if you would prefer to receive your payment through direct deposit instead of waiting for a paper check. Use the app at irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment.

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