Questions and Answers Regarding Those Economic Impact (Stimulus) Payments
Compiled by William Schmidt, Director of the KLS Low Income Taxpayer Clinic.
What are Economic Impact Payments or Stimulus Payments?
The CARES Act provides up to $1,200 per qualifying individual, or up to $2,400 for married couples filing jointly, and up to an additional $500 per dependent, with no limitation on the number of dependents if the dependent is 16 or younger on December 31, 2020, and possesses a Social Security number or an Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number. For single filers whose adjusted gross incomes (AGIs) exceed $75,000, married couples filing jointly whose AGIs exceed $150,000, and heads of households whose AGIs exceed $112,500, the total credit amount, including the $500 payment for each eligible dependent, will be reduced by $5 for every $100 above their AGI cap.
Who is eligible for the StimulusPayment?
U.S. citizens or resident aliens who:
- Have a valid Social Security number,
- Could not be claimed as a dependent of another taxpayer, and
- Had adjusted gross income under certain limits.
Who will receive the Stimulus Payment automatically without taking additional steps?
Most eligible U.S. taxpayers will automatically receive their Stimulus Payments including:
- Individuals who filed a federal income tax for 2018 or 2019
- Social Security retirement, disability (SSDI), survivor benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Recipients of Veterans Affairs benefits
- Individuals who receive Railroad Retirement benefits
Who should use Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info to provide additional information to receive the Stimulus Payment?
If you receive veterans disability compensation, a pension, or survivor benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs, or your income level does not require you to file a tax return, then you need to submit information to the IRS to receive an Stimulus Payment.
Information You will Need to Provide
Full name, current mailing address and an email address
Date of birth and valid Social Security number
Bank account number, type and routing number, if you have one
Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (IP PIN) you received from the IRS earlier this year, if you have one
Driver’s license or state-issued ID, if you have one
For each qualifying child: name, Social Security number or Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number and their relationship to you or your spouse
What to Expect
Clicking “Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here” above will take you from the IRS site to Free File Fillable Forms, a certified IRS partner. This site is safe and secure. Follow these steps in order to provide your information:
- Create an account by providing your email address and phone number; and establishing a user ID and password.
- You will be directed to a screen where you will input your filing status (Single or Married filing jointly) and personal information.
- Note: Make sure you have a valid Social Security number for you (and your spouse if you were married at the end of 2019) unless you are filing “Married Filing Jointly” with a 2019 member of the military. Make sure you have a valid Social Security number or Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number for each dependent you want to claim for the Economic Impact Payment.
- Check the “box” if someone can claim you as a dependent or your spouse as a dependent.
- Complete your bank information (otherwise we will send you a check).
- You will be directed to another screen where you will enter personal information to verify yourself. Simply follow the instructions. You will need your driver’s license (or state-issued ID) information. If you don’t have one, leave it blank.
You will receive an e-mail from Customer Service at Free File Fillable Forms that either acknowledges you have successfully submitted your information, or that tells you there is a problem and how to correct it. Free File Fillable forms will use the information to automatically complete a Form 1040 and transmit it to the IRS to compute and send you a payment.
How Do I Update My Address for Purposes of Receiving My Stimulus Payment?
If your address has changed and you will be receiving an Economic Impact Payment by mail, you may need to take steps to update your address. Generally, the IRS will mail payments to the address shown on a taxpayer’s most recently filed tax return or as updated through the U.S. Postal Service. Therefore, if you have already filed your 2019 tax return and your address has changed, please be sure to notify the U.S. Postal Service of your address change.
What If I Don’t Have a Tax Filing Requirement?
Unless you fall within one of the exceptions described below, you must have a 2018 or 2019 federal income tax return on file with the IRS. And for those with dependents, the IRS must have a filed return to provide the additional amount for dependents. For those who do not have a filing obligation and have not filed a tax return, the process is simple and only takes a few minutes to complete. First, visit IRS.gov, and look for “Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here.” By providing the basic information requested, including Social Security number, name, address, and dependents, the IRS will confirm your eligibility and calculate and send an Economic Impact Payment. Entering bank or financial account information will allow the IRS to deposit your payment directly into your account.
Will the Stimulus Payment count as income or a resource for Supplemental Security Income recipients?
The Stimulus Payment will not count as income for SSI recipients. The Stimulus Payment will count as a resource if you still have it 12 months after you receive it. Single SSI recipients can have $2,000 in total resources. Married SSI recipients can have $3,000 in total resources.
Word of Caution for Taxpayers: Don’t Fall Prey to Scams
I want to reiterate a recent warning the IRS issued to the public: The IRS will never call or email you about these payments and will never call to ask you for personally identifiable information, including bank account information. Taxpayers should be very leery of any emails or other online communications promising faster refunds or Stimulus Payments, as these are likely scams.