As the coronavirus rages on, many Americans are already feeling the financial fallout. Last week, displaced workers filed a record number 6.6 million new unemployment claims, according to Labor Department figures released Thursday. Ten million Americans filed unemployment claims in the last two weeks.
Last week, the Trump administration and Congress announced bipartisan economic package to help provide Americans relief on a number of fronts. The $2 trillion emergency economic package includes direct payments to workers, help for small businesses and hospitals and more.
Direct payments to workers could start going out in the next three weeks, the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Services said. The checks are one-time payments for now and are not taxable.
Workers who made less than $75,000 in 2019, will get a check for $1,200. Couples who filed jointly and made less than $150,000 will get $2,400. Every qualifying child under 16 in the household will receive an additional $500. Workers who made more than $75,000 will have their checks reduced by $5 for every $100 of income.
Most people won’t have to do a thing to get the stimulus payment deposited directly in their bank accounts, the IRS said this week, but there are some exceptions.
The direct checks are separate from the new unemployment benefits in the stimulus package. To be eligible for direct deposit, people will have had to file taxes for 2018 or 2019 and already has direct deposit information on file with the IRS. If you have not filed taxes for either year, the IRS says people should file as soon as possible and include direct deposit information on the return.
The tax filing deadline for this year has been pushed back to July 15, but the IRS said the stimulus payments will be available to taxpayers through the end of 2020.
What if I don’t have direct deposit?
The government will default to sending you the check by mail if you did not use direct deposit.
However, the IRS and Treasury say that they will develop an online portal in the coming weeks for individuals to provide their banking information so that they can receive the payments immediately instead of in the mail. They have not yet set a deadline for updating that information.
Where do I do this?
The IRS and Treasury say the website irs.gov/coronavirus will soon provide information about the check, including how people can file a simple 2019 tax return.
What if the IRS doesn’t have my bank information?
According to the IRS: “In the coming weeks, Treasury plans to develop a web-based portal for individuals to provide their banking information to the IRS online so that individuals can receive payments immediately as opposed to checks in the mail.”
What about people who don’t normally file returns?
Many people, including those on Social Security, some veterans and people with disabilities and others don’t normally have to file a tax return. Those people “will need to file a simple tax return to receive an economic impact payment.
“IRS.gov/coronavirus will soon provide information instructing people in these groups on how to file a 2019 tax return with simple, but necessary, information including their filing status, number of dependents and direct deposit bank account information,” the IRS said.
What if I owe back taxes?
Owing back taxes to a state or the IRS will not change your stimulus payment, according to Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa).
What if I owe child support?
That should not stop you from getting your check unless you have unpaid support that has been reported to the Treasury Department, Grassley said.
What do I have to do to get a check?
The money will be directly deposited in your bank account if the government has that information from your tax return. If you haven’t filed your 2019 taxes, the government will use information from your 2018 taxes to calculate your payment and determine where to send it. It can use your Social Security benefits statement as well.
What happens if I don’t usually have to file taxes? Will I still get a check?
Yes. “Social Security recipients who are not typically required to file a tax return need to take no action and will receive their payment directly to their bank account,” Treasury Secretary Mnuchin said in a recent statement.
I haven’t filed my 2018 of 2019 taxes. Will I still get a payment?
Yes, but the IRS urges anyone required to file a tax return and has not yet done so for those years to file as soon as possible in order to receive an economic impact payment. Taxpayers should include their direct-deposit banking information on the return if they want it deposited in their account.
What if I don’t have a checking account?
The “unbanked” will get a check in the mail but it will likely take much longer to arrive.
Information provided by the IRS and U.S. Treasury Department. Find more info at https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/economic-impact-payments-what-you-need-to-know