What you should know about Coronavirus Stimulus

We are sharing important information regarding the Coronavirus Stimulus payments.  The Coronavirus stimulus payments started arriving through direct deposit on April 15, 2020.  These direct deposit payments ceased in May and many people were receiving a paper check in the mail.  The US Treasury announced on May 18, 2020 that the paper checks were going to be replaced pre-paid debit cards.

If you haven’t received your stimulus payment yet, you can track it from the US Treasury’s tool: (Get My Payment).

We’ve been fielding a lot of questions from our members regarding the stimulis payments.  We’re sharing what we’ve learned:

Who is eligible:

US taxpayers can receive up to $1,200 (individual), $2,400 (filing jointly) and $500 per child up to the age of 16 from the federal government as part of the $2 trillion relief package intended to support people through this unprecedented time.  The amount you’ll receive depends on your 2019 (or if you haven’t filed yet, your 2018) adjusted gross income.

  • If you’re a single US resident and have an adjusted gross income (AGI) less that $99,000
  • If you file as the head of a household and earn AGI under $146,500
  • If you file jointly and earn AGI less than $198,000

How much aid will you receive:

  • Single Taxpayer – If your adjusted gross income is under $75,000 you’ll receive the full amount of $1,200.  The sum decreases as your AGI goes up until you reach the cap of $99,000.
  • Head of Household – If your AGI is $112,500 or less you will receive the full benefit of $1,200.  The amount decreases as your AGI increases until your reach $146,000.
  • Filing Jointly – If your AGI is below $150,000 you will receive $2,400 payment.  This amount will decrease as your AGI increases until you reach $198,000.
  • Also, a benefit of $500 per child (up to age 16) will be paid out to families.  Older children and other dependents may not be eligible for a payment.

Please read Who Doesn’t Qualify below.  We provide important information on how dependents can submit a Non-Filing form with the IRS to be reviewed for possible eligibility for the stimulus aid.

Check Out the Stimulus Check Calculator

Direct Deposits of Stimulus Payments

If your qualify for the stimulus payment and you received your 2019 or 2018 tax return by direct deposit, you will receive your stimulus payment through direct deposit.  US Treasury processed the first round of direct deposit stimulus payments on April 15th.  They have ceased direct deposit and are mailing pre-paid debit cards.

What if the IRS does not have your direct deposit information?
If the IRS does not have your direct deposit information, you will probably receive your stimulus check or pre-paid debit card by mail.

When will physical checks or pre-paid debit cards begin to be distributed?

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service (Fiscal Service) started printing and mailing economic impact payment checks, beginning April 24, 2020, and weekly.  On May 19, 2020 the U. S. Treasury stated they will be distributing pre-paid debit cards in replace of the printed checks.

The reported plan is the Treasury will mail out checks to lower-income individuals first.  Higher-income taxpayers may receive their check later.

Be Cautious with sharing your information. 

Please be cautious whenever providing your personal or banking information to anyone online or via phone. No one will call or email you for your account information. Scammers especially use times of crisis to defraud people.  In Fact the FBI reported an increase in fraud associated to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Learn how you can protect yourself from tax scammers.

What to do when your check arrives in the mail. 

Banks and credit unions are classified as an essential business and are open during these times.  However, many have reduced their lobby hours and lobby access in an effort to protect their employees and their working environment. Please check your financial institution’s website for their new business hours.  While you are on their website, check out their mobile deposit service.  This will allow you to deposit your check in the comfort and safety of your home.  If you are a member check out our mobile app and our mobile deposit service.

You can also visit a CO-OP Network ATM to deposit your check to your credit union account.

What to do if you don’t receive your stimulus payment? 

If you qualified to receive a payment, you should expect to receive a notice by mail from the US Treasury about how and when they submitted your stimulus payment.  If you receive the notice however did not receive the payment, you’ll be directed to contact the IRS using the information in the notice.  Again as mentioned above, criminals are always looking for opportunity.

Who doesn’t qualify for the Coronavirus Stimulus?

  • Children who are 17 or 18 years old
  • Many college students between the age of 18 to 23 (if student is claimed as a dependent on their parents’ tax returns)
  • Adults who can be claimed as dependents
  • People who haven’t filed 2018 or 2019 tax returns (unless receiving Social Security, SSDI, Survivor benefits, or Railroad Retirement Benefits)
  • Nonresident aliens (a “tax term” that describes non-US citizens without a green card)
  • Estates
  • Individuals who earn more than $99,000 or married couples earning more than $198,000

Let’s remember the US Treasury is working in partnership with the IRS to determine the qualifications of the stimulus plan. So if a person didn’t yet file a tax return (2019 or 2018), they would not qualify for the Coronavirus Stimulus.

What if I don’t file because I’m under the $12,000 income limit?

You can submit a non-filer form located on the IRS site.  The IRS needs to share your information to the US Treasury for the purpose of the stimulus. Submit your non-filer form and ensure you will be considered for the stimulus payment.  Also include your routing and account number to have your stimulus check sent to you electronically.

Can I still file my 2019 Tax Return?

You can file your 2019 tax return by July 15, 2020.  The April 15th deadline was extended by the US Treasury in response to the Covid-19 outbreak. The extension to July 15th is automatic, taxpayers do not need to file any additional forms or call the IRS to qualify.

What if I have an outstanding tax obligation?

If you owe back taxes, you will still receive the stimulus payment, if you qualified.  The same is true if you are behind on your government student loan payments (Federal student loan payments have been suspended for 6 months under the CARES Act).  However if you owe back child support payments, you may not receive a stimulus payment.

Learn more about CARES Act relief for student loan payments and interest.

This is a fluid situation and as information becomes available or changes, we will update our article.  Please refer back to our page to view any updates. We would like to thank Forbes.com, HRBlock.com, Cuna.org, IRS.gov and Treasury.gov for providing the information we researched for our article.  You can obtain more information regarding the Covid-19 programs from the IRS or from the US Treasury.