Stimulus checks are on their way
There is still some confusion surrounding the federal stimulus checks, which started arriving Wednesday. Below is key information from the IRS website.
While some taxpayers are now receiving stimulus checks, also called Economic Impact Payments, the disbursements will be ongoing until early May.
Most individuals are expecting automatic stimulus checks of $1,200 as set forth in the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.
In order to be eligible for a payment, a person must meet the following requirements:
- Be a U.S. citizen or resident alien.
- Cannot be claimed as a dependent on someone else's return.
- Have a Social Security Number that is valid for employment (If either spouse is in the U.S. Armed Forces, only one needs a SSN).
- Have adjusted gross income below an adjusted gross income limit based on one's filing status and the number of qualifying children.
No minimum income is needed for the payment.
The checks are meant to be automatically deposited in the bank accounts of anyone who filed federal income taxes for 2018 or 2019. If a taxpayer did not get a refund through direct deposit in those years, however, they must go online and set it up in the Get My Payment window on irs.gov.
If a taxpayer hasn't filed taxes or if a taxpayer has children under the age of 17 — the CARES Act provides an additional $500 per child — then they need to fill out information in the Non-Filers tab.
According to the IRS, the payment amount is reduced if a taxpayer's adjusted gross income exceeds $75,000 for an individual, $112,500 for taxpayers filing as a head of household or $150,000 for taxpayers filing a joint return. More details on how that works is on the IRS website.
There has been mixed reporting and confusion on whether or not placing the president's name on the check is delaying delivery of the paper checks. U.S. Department of Treasury spokesperson Patricia McLaughlin denied any delay.
"Economic Impact Payment checks are scheduled to go out on time and exactly as planned — there is absolutely no delay whatsoever," she said in an email. "In fact, we expect the first checks to be in the mail early next week which is well in advance of when the first checks went out in 2008 and well in advance of initial estimates."
Stimulus payments were made by the federal government during the 2008 recession.
There also has been misinformation on social media that taxpayers must pay back the stimulus checks or that they are in some way an advance on next year's taxes. McLaughlin confirmed this is not the case.
"Treasury and the IRS have worked around the clock to get fast and direct economic assistance to hardworking Americans," she said. "During the 2008–09 financial crisis, it took the government almost two months to distribute 800,000 payments. So far, this administration distributed more than 80 million payments in less than 2½ weeks."