Coronavirus stimulus checks: Everything you need to know

The coronavirus outbreak has caused businesses to close and workers to be laid off, but bills and life still go on — even in a global pandemic.

To ease the weight of many Americans’ newfound financial struggles, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is sending all Americans stimulus checks as part of a $2 trillion initiative. You can access the stimulus check web portalfor more information. 

Here are our answers to some of the most asked questions when it comes to the 2020 stimulus checks. 

How much will I get from the stimulus? 

The IRS will use 2019 taxes if you filed them already to determine how much you’ll receive; but if you haven’t filed your taxes this year, the IRS will use your 2018 taxes.

If you made up to $75,000 individually or $150,000 as part of a married couple, you are eligible to receive $1,200 or $2,400 in a stimulus check, respectively. If you have children, you can get up to $500 for each child. 

For every $100 that your income is over those maximum income amounts, the IRS will deduct $5 from your stimulus check. 

Do I qualify? 

Individuals and couples in the income bracket mentioned above who have a Social Security number are eligible. If you are a single filer and have an income higher than $99,000 or a joint couple with an income higher than $198,000 with no children, you will not be eligible for the stimulus check. 

Senior citizens and those who rely on social security also qualify and will automatically receive a check. 

How will I get my stimulus check? 

The IRS will send stimulus checks through direct deposit if you have it set up or by check through the mail. 

How do I file my tax return? 

If you have an outstanding tax obligation for 2018 or 2019, the IRS urges those people to file as soon as possible to receive a stimulus check. For 2019 tax returns, you have until July 15 to file under a new federal extension. 

We reviewed the best tax software to help you easily file your taxes online. 

When can I expect my stimulus check? 

As of Wednesday, April 15, stimulus checks began to be distributed.

Taxpayers who have a direct deposit set up will be the first to receive checks, so make sure your direct deposit is set up with the IRS. 

How can I make sure the IRS has my direct deposit info? 

You can use the stimulus check web portal to change or update your payment type, or enter your direct deposit information. 

If you’ve filed for tax returns and used your direct deposit in the past, then the IRS already has this info. 

How do I get my coronavirus stimulus check if I don’t file taxes?

The IRS recently created a dedicated website for non-filers to enter their direct deposit payment information. If you don’t regularly file taxes, or if you didn’t file taxes in 2018 or 2019, you’ll need to enter your information on that page.

The process is fairly simple — just click the blue “Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here” button on the Coronavirus Impact Payments page and fill in the applicable information. Be sure to have your bank account information, including routing number and account number, on hand when you sign up.

How will I be notified about my check? 

You can track the status of your check in the IRS web portal.

Click the “Get My Payment” button under the Filers section of the website. You’ll be directed to another “Get My Payment” page, and after clicking the button again, you’ll be directed to the central system where you will enter your information to find out the status of your check.

Why am I getting an error message?

If you are trying to track the status of your check and are receiving an error message that says“Payment Status Not Available,” there are several reasons for this, according to the IRS FAQ page.

  • You aren’t eligible to receive a check
  • You are entering in the wrong information
  • You didn’t file your taxes
  • You recently used the Non-Filers section of the web portal 
  • You are an SSA, RRB Form 1099, SSI, or VA recipient 

How long will the stimulus checks be available? 

The IRS said that the payments would be available to Americans through the rest of 2020.

[via: Digital Trends

[Photo: Jp Valery/Unsplash]

About Allison Murray