Everything You Need to Know About Your Stimulus Check


In light of the developing coronavirus crisis, Congress has agreed to a $2 trillion dollar stimulus relief package which President Trump has signed into law. The package includes a $250 billion expansion of unemployment benefits and $500 billion in loans to corporations. But how will this impact the average citizen? One much anticipated provision in the bill is a one-time payment in the form of a check paid out to those who are eligible. Here is everything you need to know about the stimulus checks.

Not everyone will receive a check. Individuals must be legal residents that are not/can not be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return. There are also limits on how much income you can earn to receive a stimulus check. Payments start to decrease for single filers with an adjusted gross income (AGI) over $75,000, married couples filing jointly with AGI over $150,000, and heads of household (a single person with dependents) with an AGI above $112,500. The amount you receive in your stimulus check will be based on your 2019 income or your 2018 income if you have not filed your 2019 tax return yet.

So exactly how much money will you be receiving? You can use this calculator to determine your payment. Some of the information is as follows:

The maximum an individual can receive is $1,200. Smaller checks will go out to individuals making up to $99,000 a year, falling $5 for every $100 in income above $75,000. Married couples can receive up to $2,400, again with smaller checks going to married couples who earn up to $198,000 a year. Couples will also receive $500 for every child in their household under 17.

If you are currently receiving Social Security retirement or disability benefits but still earn too little to have to file income tax returns, you will also receive a stimulus check based on the information you provided the IRS through forms SSA-1099 and RRB-1099. If you are a college student or older teen who still depends on your parents for more than half your support, you are not eligible to receive a stimulus check.

These checks basically function like a 2020 tax credit. Therefore, if you earned too much in 2018 or 2019 to receive a payment, but have recently lost income (possibly due to the crisis), you will be eligible for the payment when you file your 2020 tax returns in 2021. On the other hand, if you qualify for the payment under your 2018 or 2019 returns but would not qualify based on your 2020 income, you will not be required to pay back the stimulus check.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has stated checks could go out within the next three weeks. If you used a bank account for your direct deposit for your 2019 tax returns, you should see your money deposited there. If you do not have a direct deposit established, you will receive a check in the mail at your last recorded address. Mailed checks could take longer than direct deposits.

Nearly 125 million Americans are expected to receive a stimulus check over the next few weeks. If you’re not sure how much you’re set to receive, don’t hesitate to call our offices for assistance. We are more than happy to put your mind at ease, and, if it looks like your stimulus check will not offset your current financial difficulties, we can walk you through your rights under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

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