Millions of Americans have already received their Economic Impact Payments (Payments) authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) continues to calculate and automatically send the Payments to most eligible individuals, however some may have to provide additional information to the IRS to get their Payments.
The IRS is committed to helping you get your Economic Impact Payment as soon as possible. The payments, also referred to by some as stimulus payments, are automatic for most taxpayers. No further action is needed by taxpayers who filed tax returns in 2018 and 2019 and most seniors and retirees.
For those with direct deposit information on file with the IRS, based 2019 or 2018 tax return, payments began going out on April 10.
Payments started going out last week to Social Security beneficiaries, railroad retirees and veterans who aren't required to file a tax return; these will continue through May. Individuals in this group will get their relief by the same method they receive their other benefits, be that direct deposit or mail.
Others who are not required to file tax returns, such as low-income individuals, were encouraged to file basic information on the IRS website. Without this information, the government cannot issue a payment.
Anyone who is eligible but does not have direct deposit information on file will be mailed a check. Those began to go out in late April, but that process might take several months because of distribution limitations.
All payments were prioritized in order from lowest income to highest income.
Below are answers to frequently asked questions related to these Payments.
Who is Eligible for a Stimulus Check was updated at the end of April.
Who is Getting a Stimulus Payment:
U.S. citizens and U.S. resident aliens will receive the Economic Impact Payment of $1,200 for individual or head of household filers, and $2,400 for married filing jointly if they are not a dependent of another taxpayer and have a work eligible Social Security number with adjusted gross income up to:
- $75,000 for individuals if their filing status was single or married filing separately
- $112,500 for head of household filers and
- $150,000 for married couples filing joint returns
Eligible individuals will receive $1,200. Two eligible individuals filing a joint return will receive $2,400. You will receive an additional $500 Payment for each qualifying child you claimed on your tax return being used to calculate your Payment who meets the following conditions:
- The child is your son, daughter, stepchild, eligible foster child, brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister, half-brother, half-sister, or a descendant of any of them (for example, your grandchild, niece, or nephew).
- The child is claimed as a dependent on your tax return.
- The child was under age 17 at the end of the taxable year.
- The child was a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or U.S. resident alien.
- The child has a valid SSN or an Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number (ATIN)
Taxpayers will receive a reduced payment if their AGI is between:
- $75,000 and $99,000 if their filing status was single or married filing separately
- 112,500 and $136,500 for head of household
- $150,000 and $198,000 if their filing status was married filing jointly
The amount of the reduced payment will be based upon the taxpayers specific adjusted gross income.
Eligible retirees and recipients of Social Security retirement, survivor, or disability benefits (SSDI), Railroad Retirement benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and VA Compensation and Pension (C&P) will receive a payment.
For eligible taxpayers who filed tax returns for 2019 or 2018, they receive the payments automatically.
Those who don’t usually file a tax return and receive Social Security retirement, survivor, or disability benefits (SSDI), Railroad Retirement benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and VA Compensation and Pension (C&P) also receive automatic payments of $1,200. While some of these groups receive Forms 1099, many in this group don't typically file tax returns. Many people in these groups are expected to see the automatic $1,200 payments later this month, with SSI and VA payments expected to start in May.
For people who have little or no income and didn’t file a tax return or don’t receive any of the federal benefits listed above, they are also eligible for an Economic Impact Payment. They need to register with the Non-Filer tool on IRS.gov as soon as possible so they can receive a payment.
Who is Not Eligible:
Although some filers, such as high-income filers, will not qualify for an Economic Impact Payment, most will. It was updated on May 6th.
Taxpayers likely won't qualify for an Economic Impact Payment if any of the following apply:
- Your adjusted gross income is greater than
- $99,000 if your filing status was single or married filing separately
- $136,500 for head of household
- $198,000 if your filing status was married filing jointly
- You can be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s return. For example, this would include a child, student or older dependent who can be claimed on a parent’s return.
- You do not have a valid Social Security number.
- You filed Form 1040-NR or Form 1040NR-EZ, Form 1040-PR or Form 1040-SS for 2019.
- Non-Resident Alien: A person who is a non-resident alien in 2020 is not eligible for the Payment. A person who is a qualifying resident alien with a valid SSN is eligible for the Payment only if he or she is a qualifying resident alien in 2020 and could not be claimed as a dependent of another taxpayer for 2020. Aliens who received a Payment but are not qualifying resident aliens for 2020 should return the Payment to the IRS by following the instructions about repayments.
- Incarcerated: A Payment made to someone who is incarcerated should be returned to the IRS by following the instructions about repayments. A person is incarcerated if he or she is described in one or more of clauses (i) through (v) of Section 202(x)(1)(A) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. § 402(x)(1)(A)(i) through (v)). For a Payment made with respect to a joint return where only one spouse is incarcerated, you only need to return the portion of the Payment made on account of the incarcerated spouse. This amount will be $1,200 unless adjusted gross income exceeded $150,000.
- Deceased: A Payment made to someone who died before receipt of the Payment should be returned to the IRS. Return the entire Payment unless the Payment was made to joint filers and one spouse had not died before receipt of the Payment, in which case, you only need to return the portion of the Payment made on account of the decedent. This amount will be $1,200 unless adjusted gross income exceeded $150,000.
Do I need to do anything?
For People who filed a tax return for 2019 or 2018: No additional action is needed by taxpayers who:
- have already filed their tax returns this year for 2019. The IRS will use this information to calculate the payment amount.
- haven’t filed yet for 2019 but filed a 2018 federal tax return. For these taxpayers the IRS will use their information from 2018 tax filings to make the Economic Impact Payment calculations.
People who aren't typically required to file a tax return: Social Security and Railroad Retirement recipients who are not typically required to file a tax return need to take no action. The IRS will use the information on the Form SSA-1099 and Form RRB-1099 to generate Economic Impact Payments of $1,200 to these individuals even if they did not file tax returns in 2018 or 2019. Recipients will receive these payments as a direct deposit or by paper check, just as they would normally receive their benefits. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) recipients are also part of this group who don't need to take action.
There are other individuals such as low-income workers and certain veterans and individuals with disabilities who aren’t required to file a tax return, but they are still eligible for the Economic Impact Payments. Taxpayers can check the IRS.gov tool - Do I Need to File a Tax Return? - to see if they have a filing requirement. If you don’t have to file, use the "Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here" application to provide simple information so you can get your payment.
Watch out or this!
For security reasons, the IRS plans to mail a letter about the economic impact payment to the taxpayer’s last known address within 15 days after the payment is paid. The letter will provide information on how the payment was made and how to report any failure to receive the payment. If a taxpayer is unsure they’re receiving a legitimate letter, the IRS urges taxpayers to visit IRS.gov first to protect against scam artists.
The IRS urges taxpayers to be on the lookout for scam artists trying to use the economic impact payments as cover for schemes to steal personal information and money. Remember, the IRS will not call , text you, email you or contact you on social media asking for personal or bank account information – even related to the economic impact payments. Also, watch out for emails with attachments or links claiming to have special information about economic impact payments or refunds.
How will I get my money?
If you received direct deposit of your refund based on your 2019 tax return (or 2018 tax return if you haven’t filed your 2019 tax return), the IRS has sent your Payment to the bank account provided on the most recent tax return. You cannot change your account information.
If you filed your 2019 or 2018 tax return but did not receive your refund by direct deposit, your Payment will be mailed to the address we have on file even if you also receive Social Security, Railroad Retirement or Veterans Affairs benefits by direct deposit. This is generally the address on your most recent tax return or as updated through the United States Postal Service (USPS).
If you did not receive your refund by direct deposit based on your 2019 tax return (or 2018 tax return if you haven’t filed your 2019 tax return), you have the opportunity to provide bank account information through the IRS Get My Payment tool before your Payment is processed. Direct deposit is the fastest way to receive your Payment.
You can find out where you payment is by going to Get My Payment. Use the "Get My Payment" application to:
- Check your payment status
- Confirm your payment type: direct deposit or by mail?
- Enter your bank account information for direct deposit if:
- We don't have your direct deposit information and
- We haven't scheduled your payment yet
What if I've moved:
The #GetMyPayment site will not allow you to change your address. To change your address:
- If you have not filed your 2019 tax return, enter your new address on your return when you file. We update our records when your return is processed. File electronically to ensure your return will be processed more quickly.
- If you have filed your 2019 tax return and you did not receive a refund via direct deposit, your payment will be mailed to the address we have on file for you. This is generally the address on your most recent return or as updated through the United States Postal Service (USPS).
If you are required to file a tax return, you can go to IRS Free File to file your return electronically.