In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government initiated the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This act provided stimulus funds, or stimulus checks, to millions of Americans impacted by the economic fallout of the pandemic. The stimulus check update continues to provide recipients with detailed information about their current payment status.
Stimulus checks are a critical form of aid for many Americans, and staying updated on the latest developments can help recipients better understand their financial situation. This comprehensive guide dives deep into the stimulus check update process and the answers to the most common questions recipients may have. It covers topics from eligibility and payment amounts to extras, such as grants and exclusive benefits to military members.
The CARES Act established eligibility rules for individuals to receive the stimulus check. Generally, people qualified if they earned at least $2,000 in income in 2019. Additionally, people who filed joint returns as married couples were eligible as long as they each earned at least $2,000 individually.
People who qualified received either a one-time direct payment of $1,200 per eligible adult, with an additional $500 per eligible child, or a reduced payment depending on their adjusted gross income (AGI). People with an AGI of up to $75,000 for single filers and $150,000 for married couples filing jointly were eligible for the full amount of the payment.
Individuals with an AGI higher than the thresholds could still qualify for a reduced payment, with the stimulus check being gradually reduced for higher earners. The payment amount was cut off for single taxpayers with an AGI greater than $99,000 and $198,000 for joint filers.
Additionally, certain people may not have qualified for their stimulus check. They included those receiving Social Security and certain veterans’ benefits and people who filed a tax return, with an AGI less than $2,000 and a dependent children, but did not file taxes as part of a married couple.
People who did not receive their stimulus checks may be eligible to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit when they file their 2019 federal taxes.
Taxpayers can check their payment status by using the Get My Payment tool provided by the IRS. The tool also provides an update on when individuals may receive their payment.
Individuals can also use the Taxpayer Advocacy Program, which provides assistance to help taxpayers resolve issues with the IRS, tobcheck their paymentstatus.
The IRS has issued stimulus checks in multiple phases. The agency has already issued payments to individuals who filed a 2019 tax return, those who did not, and those who received Social Security retirement, Survivor Benefits, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Payments vary depending on the source of income.
The timeline for sending out payments to individuals has been staggered due to the high volume of eligible individuals. The payments have been sent out in phases, based on factors such as income, Social Security status, and direct deposit information.
The IRS began issuing payments in April, with people being sent their money in the order of their preference for the method of payment with priority to those claiming a dependent child.
By the end of April, the IRS had sent payments to non-filers, which included Social Security and Railroad Retirement recipients, SSI recipients, recipients of veterans’ benefits, and recipients of certain federal pensions. Individuals with direct deposit could receive their payment as early as April 22, 2020.
The IRS then started sending out payments to taxpayers who filed a 2019 return, with payments being sent out in the order of filing date, with priority given to those filing with a dependent child.
The IRS resumed payments in late June, and they are expecting to continue issuing payments throughout the remainder of 2020.
In addition to the one-time stimulus payments, the CARES Act includes several other provisions that may put extra money in people’s pockets.
The act includes an expanded child tax credit of $2,000 per qualifying child, an additional $1,400 payment per qualifying dependent 18 and under, and a temporary payroll tax credit up to $5,000 per qualifying individual. It also includes a higher earned income tax credit, an extended deadline for contributions to elective retirement accounts—such as 401(k)s and IRAs—and a deduction for up to $300 of charitable contributions per taxpayer.
Military members may also qualify for additional financial support, including an extra $500 for each child with a qualifying stimulus payment.
Stimulus payments have been a lifeline for many Americans who are struggling with the economic fallout of the pandemic. The stimulus check update has provided recipients with the most current information about their payments. By staying informed on eligibility and payment status of their stimulus checks, recipients are provided with the most up-to-date information on their current financial situation. Additionally, they may also be eligible for extras, such as grants and exclusive benefits to military members, which can help to further improve their short-term economic stability.
The ripple effects of the pandemic have caused immense economic tumult, but the stimulus checks have been a source of hope for many households. Through the stimulus check update, individuals can track the movement of their funds and use the additional information provided to plan their finances.