Millions of Americans are eligible for "economic impact payments" as a result of the recently passed $2.2 trillion stimulus bill. But what does the stimulus bill mean to you and how do you get your payment?
The IRS last week set up a new "Get My Payment" tool where you can track the status of your stimulus money. The tool will also let you know if you should expect your money via direct deposit or the U.S. mail.
If you did not file a return in 2018 or 2019, you can use their "Enter Payment Info" tool to share your direct deposit information.
In both tools, you will need to be prepared to provide some basic personal information, and where needed, your bank account.
At least 80 million Americans were told to expect stimulus funds deposited into their bank accounts last week and no action is needed by most taxpayers.
But certain groups of non-filers who receive public benefits and have dependent children under 17 must use the IRS' special non-filer tool to more quickly receive their full relief checks.
Those receiving Social Security retirement or Railroad Retirement benefits who didn't file a tax return in the last two years face a deadline of 12 p.m. ET Wednesday, April 22.
"Otherwise, their payment at this time will be $1,200 and, by law, the additional $500 per eligible child amount would be paid in association with a return filing for tax year 2020," the IRS said on Monday.
Those who receive survivor or disability benefits (SSDI), Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Veterans Administration benefits should also use the tool to more quickly receive the $500-per-child payment, but they have an unspecified deadline to do so.
The below is a Frequently Asked Questions provided by the Internal Revenue Service:
Who is eligible for the economic impact payment?
Tax filers with adjusted gross income up to $75,000 for individuals and up to $150,000 for married couples filing joint returns will receive the full payment. For filers with income above those amounts, the payment amount is reduced by $5 for each $100 above the $75,000/$150,000 thresholds. Single filers with income exceeding $99,000 and $198,000 for joint filers with no children are not eligible.
Eligible taxpayers who filed tax returns for either 2019 or 2018 will automatically receive an economic impact payment of up to $1,200 for individuals or $2,400 for married couples. Parents also receive $500 for each qualifying child. For more information on eligibility, visit the IRS's Economic Impact Information Center here.
How will the IRS know where to send my payment?
The vast majority of people do not need to take any action. The IRS will calculate and automatically send the economic impact payment to those eligible.
For people who have already filed their 2019 tax returns, the IRS will use this information to calculate the payment amount. For those who have not yet filed their return for 2019, the IRS will use information from their 2018 tax filing to calculate the payment. The economic impact payment will be deposited directly into the same banking account reflected on the return filed.
The IRS does not have my direct deposit information. What can I do?
The U.S. Department of the Treasury and IRS have launched the "Get My Payment" web application. The free app allows taxpayers who filed their tax return in 2018 or 2019 but didn't provide their banking information on their return to submit direct deposit information.
By using the app, you will be able to get your Economic Impact Payment in your bank account sooner, as opposed to waiting for mailed checks which will start being distributed before the end of April, the Treasury Department said. "Get My Payment" will also allow taxpayers to track the status of their payment. For more information, visit the IRS's Get My Payment page here.
I am not typically required to file a tax return. Can I still receive my payment?
Yes. People who typically do not file a tax return will need to complete the “Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here” form to submit basic personal information to receive their Economic Impact Payments. That includes low-income taxpayers, pension recipients, some veterans and individuals with disabilities who are otherwise not required to file a tax return.
If you receive Social Security, Railroad Retirement, or SSDI benefits you DO NOT have to submit payment information. The IRS will automatically send you an Economic Impact Payment. But as mentioned before, those with dependent children should use the special non-filer tool to more quickly receive their full relief checks.
How can I file the tax return needed to receive my economic impact payment?
If you did not file a 2019 or 2018 tax return, it's not too late. The deadline to file a return was extended from April 15 to July 15 due to the coronavirus outbreak. The sooner you file, the sooner you can receive your Economic Impact Payment (and refund, if one is owed to you).
If your income is below $69,000, you can Free File Online using the IRS's free tax-preparation software. If you need free help preparing your return, the IRS has a network of volunteers around the country ready to help. You can find your nearest volunteer site by clicking here.
I have not filed my tax return for 2018 or 2019. Can I still receive an economic impact payment?
Yes. The IRS urges anyone with a tax filing obligation who has not yet filed a tax return for 2018 or 2019 to file as soon as they can to receive an economic impact payment. Taxpayers should include direct deposit banking information on the return.
I need to file a tax return. How long are the economic impact payments available?
For those concerned about visiting a tax professional or local community organization in person to get help with a tax return, these economic impact payments will be available throughout the rest of 2020.
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Where can I get more information?
The IRS will post all key information on IRS.gov/coronavirus as soon as it becomes available.
The IRS has a reduced staff in many of its offices but remains committed to helping eligible individuals receive their payments expeditiously. Check for updated information on IRS.gov/coronavirus, rather than calling IRS assistors who are helping process 2019 returns.
Calculate Your Coronavirus Stimulus Payment
Source: Staff reports, NBC News
Credit: Nelson Hsu, Vince Lattanzio / NBC