It’s the question many Americans are still asking themselves weeks after the federal government issued more than 159 million economic impact payments to families and individuals across the country.
Made possible by the CARES Act, this much-needed aid aimed at providing relief for those that were financially affected by the coronavirus pandemic and ensuing economic shutdown. The stimulus checks allow up to $1,200 per individual or $2,400 per married couple, as well as $500 per child under the age of 17.
With approximately 35 million payments still outstanding to date, here’s what you need to know and some actions you can take if you’re still waiting.
First and foremost, you’ll want to quickly double-check that you’re eligible for relief. To qualify, you must:
$150,000 for married couples filing joint returns$112,500 for head of household filers and$75,000 for all other eligible individuals
If you're considered a Non-Filer due to limited income or even if you have no income, you are still eligible for payment. In this case, you’ll need to use the government’s non-filer tool online and input your payment information by the October 15th deadline in order to receive your money.
For more information on eligibility, you can refer to the IRS Economic Impact Payment Information Center.
Now that you’ve determined whether or not you’re eligible, you’ll want to confirm the IRS has received all the information to determine your eligibility. The federal government will first review your 2019 return and your adjusted gross income (AGI), and if they haven’t received it as of yet, refer to your 2018 return.
In instances where you wouldn’t have qualified based on your adjusted gross income for 2018 but would for 2019, it’s imperative that you file ASAP. Luckily, Taxfyle provides access to a network of remote CPAs and EAs that can assist you with your filing in no time.
You can actually track the status of your economic impact payment by simply logging into the IRS free online portal called “Get My Payment”. The IRS also provides answers to some common questions regarding any status displayed on their FAQ page.
According to the IRS, if the “Get My Payment” application says you’re receiving a check, your payment may be issued as a prepaid debit card. Debit card payments come in a plain envelope from “Money Network Cardholder Services", and can be confused as junk mail. Take a moment to check that you haven’t accidentally glossed over the letter.
Consumers who filed their taxes with online software like TurboTax and H&R Block might find their stimulus payments delayed because their direct deposit information wasn’t filed with the IRS to begin with. If you paid a fee to receive your tax refund as an advance on a prepaid card, for example, you likely fall into this category since your tax refund was sent to the company instead of being directly deposited into your account. The glitch would’ve displayed a message that said “Payment Status Not Available” when checking your status on the “Get My Payment” portal, and you might have missed the May 13th deadline to input your direct deposit information as a result. If you were a consumer on one of these platforms, you’ll have to wait some extra time before your stimulus check arrives via mail. As of right now, no Taxfyle customers have been reported receiving this error message.
Much like that previously mentioned glitch, if you recently changed bank accounts or closed your account since you last filed, your payment could have potentially been sent to an account you don’t have access to.
In these cases, the IRS will wait until the bank rejects the deposit and mail it to you instead. Sadly, you can’t change any information related to your account once the IRS has confirmed your payment was processed, so you’ll just have to wait until it makes its way over to you.
This scenario is very much possible - The CARES Act doesn’t stop banks, collection agencies or creditors from intercepting your economic impact payment and applying it to any outstanding debts you may have, such as overdue student loans. Alternatively, if you (or your spouse, if you file jointly) owe child support, the IRS can redirect your payment to cover any past-due support. You should receive a notice from the federal government if your stimulus check was applied towards outstanding child support payments.
You can get in touch with the IRS directly regarding your stimulus payment at 800-919-9835. This includes instances where you might have already received a letter confirming the payment was issued, but you have yet to receive it.
Need help filing your 2018 or 2019 taxes but not sure where to start? Taxfyle provides personalized assistance via our website and mobile app. Get connected with a licensed Tax Professional today to ensure your taxes are in order.
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