The coronavirus relief package includes cash payments to many people affected by the pandemic. Here’s what you need to know.
Who will get a coronavirus stimulus check?
All adults who fall into certain income- and tax-based categories are eligible for a stimulus check. Any individuals or couples who have children will also receive a check for each child.
How much will the checks be?
According to the original proposal, individuals who make up to $75,000 annually are eligible for a one-time $1,200 check.
Payments will decrease with higher incomes. The sum of the payment falls by $5 for every $100 earned over $75,000. Anyone who earns more than $99,000 annually will not receive a check.
Married couples who file joint taxes must earn less than $150,000 annually to be eligible for a $2,400 check.
Payment declines gradually for married couples who earn more than $150,000 and phases out for couples who earn more than $198,000.
Taxpayers who have little or no income tax liability but have at least $2,500 in qualifying income will receive a $600 check or $1,200 for married couples.
Qualifying individuals or couples who have children are eligible for an additional $500 for each child.
There is no indication of whether retirees or Social Security recipients will receive stimulus checks.
If you haven’t filed federal taxes for 2018, do that right now.
The IRS said if you haven’t filed your 2018 federal taxes that could affect your stimulus check and urges anyone who hasn’t filed a 2018 tax return to file now. Be sure to include direct deposit banking information on the return.
If you’re typically not required to file a tax return, you still can receive a payment.
Those people normally not required to file a tax return — including low-income taxpayers, senior citizens, Social Security recipients, some veterans, people with disabilities or retirees — will need to file a simple tax return to receive the payment, the IRS said.
The IRS will have soon have instructions for how to file a 2019 tax return on its coronavirus web page for those who typically aren’t required to file.
When will the checks will go out?
At the White House on March 29, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he expects people will begin to receive their checks within three weeks if they have direct deposit set up with the IRS. If you’ve not set up direct deposit with the IRS, the government will mail your check.
You’ll be able to set up direct deposit to have the check sent to your bank account.
Those who don’t have direct deposit set up but want to receive the payment electronically, the federal government will create an online system that will let you set up electronic payments so you get the money deposited directly into a bank account. The IRS said the online tool will be available in the coming weeks.
Do you need to sign up, apply or request your check?
For most, the federal government will automatically send your check to you electronically or in the mail, if you qualify. If you’ve not filed a tax return for 2018 or 2019, or if you typically aren’t required to file a tax return, the IRS said you’ll need to file one to receive a payment. The IRS’s coronavirus page will soon have instructions for how to file.