I bet you’re like huh? Talking about the coronavirus stimulus check is not chic. And you’re right. It’s not. However, I also know in the past, you all liked it when I shared some financial tips and wanted more. Noticing how the current pandemic has affected the economy tremendously, I really want to use my platform and inform about all the details with the stimulus.
Initially, I wanted this post to be out earlier. However, with information constantly changing, I wanted to be sure the information I put out there has been finalized and true. Heck, some of you already received your check. Which is awesome! But for those who are still wondering what’s the deal with it, I hope I can break it down for you.
The CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act) is a law passed to provide relief and to protect the American people from public health and economic impacts of COVID-19. About 20MM American people have lost their jobs or been furloughed. Under the CARES Act, stimulus checks will hopefully ease the burden a bit due to the lack of income. The stimulus checks are a cash payment provided by the federal government to individuals.
How To Get Your Coronavirus Stimulus Check
Here are the things you need and necessities to get your stimulus check.
Social Security Number
The Social Security Number has to be valid for employment. The exception is if either spouse is a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, then only one of the spouse needs a valid SSN.
Not Claimed As A Dependent On Someone’s Tax Return
The common dependent is children.
Filing Your Tax Return
The April 15 tax return due date has been extended to July 15. Therefore, if you have’t filed for your 2019 tax return yet, they will look into your 2018 tax return.
Set Up Direct Deposit
If you have filed your taxes and your direct deposit information was entered previously you should already be set up. However, you should still double check because if you are not set up, then you will receive a check in the mail to the address the government has on file and that process may take longer. All you need for direct deposit set up is to provide your bank accounts, SSN, and particular tax return information.
Using Online Tool On IRS’ Website
Use the Get My Payment Tool to check on the status of your Economic Impact Payment.
How To Track Your Coronavirus Stimulus Check
So if you have not received your stimulus check / economic impact payment yet, here is how to track it on the IRS’ website.
Stimulus Check Tracker
Here is the IRS tracking tool to determine the status of your stimulus payment. You’ll find out your payment status, your payment type, and if additional information is needed to process your payment such as bank account information. Each status determines where your payment is in the process.
- Payment Status – Payment has been processed, there’s a payment date or payment is sent direct deposit or mail.
- Need More Information – You’re eligible but they are missing information. Check to make sure you have the most updated banking information. Direct deposit is the fastest method to receive your check.
- Payment Status Not Available – They can’t determine your eligibility.
The tracker is updated once a day.
Head Of Household
If you filed for a joint return (i.e. married couples), only one individual is needed to track the payment for both individuals.
Coronavirus Stimulus Check FAQ
Who Is Eligible For the Stimulus Check?
- U.S. Citizen or U.S. Resident Alien
- Cannot be claimed as dependent on someone else’s return
- Valid Social Security Number
- Adjusted Gross Income Below An Amount Based On Your Filing Status
- Social Security recipients and railroad retirees are not required to file tax returns since they are already eligible.
What Is The Maximum Amount You can Get?
The stimulus checks are based on either your 2018 or 2019 tax return. Single filers earning less than $75,000, heads of household earning less than $112,500 and married filing jointly earning less than $150,000 can expect to receive the full $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for married couples. Also, individuals or married couples with children can expect an additional $500 per qualifying child.
For higher income individuals, the payment is reduced by $5 for each $100 above the aforementioned thresholds.
For additional information regarding income & payment, I recommend reading FAQ Question 13 on the IRS site.
Do I need to take action?
No additional action is needed if you have already filed for your 2019 tax return. The IRS will use this information to determine the appropriate payment amount. If you haven’t filed for your tax return in 2019, then the IRS will use the 2018 tax filing.
Who Is Considered A Dependent?
- Your child (i.e. son, daughter, stepson, stepdaughter, eligible foster kids) or descendant of any them such as grandchild, niece, nephew
- Under 17 years old
- Claimed as dependent on your tax return
- U.S. citizen, U.S. resident alien, or U.S. national
- Valid SSN or Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number
How Will You Receive Your Check?
The best method to receive your check is making sure they have your direct deposit information. Ensure that the IRS has the most updated banking information. If you don’t have a bank account, the IRS will mail your Payment to the address on file. Receiving a paper check typically takes longer to receive.
When You Can Expect Your Check?
There is a possibility you may have received it already since they started sending out the checks on April 15. However, I recommend you check the status of your payment in the IRS tracking tool. If you are eligible, it will provide information if payment has been processed and a potential payment date. The stimulus check tracker is updated once a day.
Is The Payment Taxable?
It is not taxable because the payment is not considered income.
Do I have to pay back the stimulus check?
No. This is part of the CARES Act for the federal government to provide assistance to eligible American individuals.
What’s the best use for the stimulus payment?
During a time of crisis and economic recession, the best use of the payment is to use it for necessities such as groceries and shelter. In normal situations, paying off credit card debt is highly recommended and prioritized. However, the coronavirus pandemic is not a normal situation and should not be used to max out on credit cards or pay off credit card debt.
Hope you all find this post to be extremely helpful! If you need additional information, I highly recommend checking out the IRS FAQ. There is a ton of valuable information and they go into further detail about the stimulus check / economic impact payment.
If you are looking forward to helping out during the coronavirus pandemic or supporting companies that are giving back during this crisis, I have been compiling a list of my favorite companies and what they have been doing. I’ve been actively adding to this list and therefore, you will continuously see updates.
Hang in there.
I am not a licensed financial advisor. Please conduct your own due diligence or consult a licensed financial advisor before making any financial decisions. Any information found on this site, expressed or implied, herein, are committed at your own risk, financial, or otherwise. I will not and cannot be held liable for any actions you take as a result of anything you read here. While the information provided is believed to be accurate, this is an evolving situation and it may include inconsistencies.