how to get your stimulus check


To receive your stimulus check direct deposited, use this form: Get my payment

To receive stimulus check without filing a tax return, use this form: Non-Filers Stimulus check

All your stimulus check questions answered

The US Government has announced that it will send money to every eligible taxpayer in the US.  It is called Stimulus Check because the government wants people to be able to afford essentials while they are required to stay home under the quarantine orders. 

What is a stimulus check?

In the context of this article, stimulus check is a check sent by the US government to the taxpayers to boost spending and stimulate the economy. Quite literally – these checks are sent to individuals so that they can continue to support their essential needs and ‘stimulate’ the economy in the process.

Who is eligible for the stimulus check?

IRS website lists the eligibility criteria for individuals who qualify to receive the stimulus check.  

“U.S. residents will receive the Economic Impact Payment of $1,200 for individual or head of household filers, and $2,400 for married filing jointly if they are not a dependent of another taxpayer and have a work eligible Social Security number with adjusted gross income up to:

  • $75,000 for individuals
  • $112,500 for head of household filers and
  • $150,000 for married couples filing joint returns

Taxpayers will receive a reduced payment if their AGI is between:

  • $75,000 and $99,000 if their filing status was single or married filing separately
  • 112,500 and $136,500 for head of household
  • $150,000 and $198,000 if their filing status was married filing jointly

The amount of the reduced payment will be based upon the taxpayers specific adjusted gross income.

Eligible retirees and recipients of Social Security, Railroad Retirement, disability or veterans’ benefits as well as taxpayers who do not make enough money to normally have to file a tax return will receive a payment. This also includes those who have no income, as well as those whose income comes entirely from certain benefit programs, such as Supplemental Security Income benefits.

Retirees who receive either Social Security retirement or Railroad Retirement benefits will also receive payments automatically.”

What do I have to do to get the stimulus check?

Nothing. That is, if you have filed a tax return for 2018 or 2019, you do not have to do anything to receive your stimulus check.  However, if you do not file a tax return but are eligible for the stimulus check – you can give the IRS required information by completing this form so that you can get your stimulus check without filing the tax returns.

What if my 2018 income qualifies for stimulus check but my 2019 or 2020 income is higher than the threshold? 

If you have not filed 2019 tax returns yet and the IRS pays you the stimulus check based on 2018 tax returns – don’t panic – you may not be asked to return the money back to the IRS, at least, according to bloomberg. For this reason – most people are taking advantage of the July 15th extended deadline to file the tax returns in the hopes of getting a stimulus check before they disclose their ‘higher’ income for the 2019 tax year in 2020. At this point as the government is focused on stimulating the economy – they have not introduced any clawback rules on the refunds that were sent out to individuals who may have earned higher than the threshold during 2019 or 2020 calendar years.  We do not know if the IRS will eventually introduce the clawback rules.

Will I receive a check or will my stimulus check be direct deposited?

You will receive direct deposit if that is the latest information the IRS has on you. If you prefer to receive a check by mail – then that’s what you will get. As with regular refunds, a check by mail takes longer than a direct deposit.  

I used to receive my refund via mail – can I ask to get a stimulus check through direct deposit?

Yes. If you change your mind to receive a direct deposit instead of a check through mail – you can let the IRS know by completing your information on this Get my payment’ section (the launch is scheduled for April 17th, 2020).

Is stimulus check considered taxable income?

No. Amount received through a stimulus check is not considered taxable and accordingly it will impact your taxes.

Will I be required to pay the stimulus check money back?

No. Even if you were not eligible for the stimulus check because your income was higher than the threshold either in 2019 or 2020 calendar years, and if you received a stimulus check based on either 2018 or 2019 tax returns filed with the IRS – there is no clawback clause at the time of this writing to return the money that you otherwise do not qualify to receive.  That means – you can keep the money you received.

I keep hearing that the stimulus check is some kind of advance, if it is an advance – will I need to repay it in future?

Stimulus check is an advance for the credit that is calculated on 2020 tax returns. If it turns out that you have not received the full stimulus amount you are eligible for – you will just get that difference when you file your 2020 tax returns in 2021. However, if you received a stimulus check and you were not eligible for it – then you do not have to pay it back to the IRS. For example: Let’s say – your 2020 tax return shows that you qualify for $2900 of stimulus refund (since you had a baby in 2020) but you only got $2400 automatically sent to you in 2020.  When you file your 2020 tax returns in 2021 – you will get the difference of $500. This will not depend on whether or not you have a balance due or refund on your 2020 tax return.

Will I receive the stimulus check if there is a refund on my 2018 or 2019 tax returns?

If you are eligible as per the conditions laid out above, you will receive your stimulus check irrespective of whether or not you had a refund on your 2018 or 2019 tax returns.

Will I receive the stimulus check if there is a balance due on my 2018 or 2019 tax returns?

If you are eligible as per the conditions laid out above, you will receive your stimulus check irrespective of whether or not you had a balance due on your 2018 or 2019 tax returns.

Have more questions about stimulus check?  Ask us here.

Need help with your US tax return filing?  Contact us here.

Need help with a tax notice?  Contact us here.

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