The US government is about to send you a check to help you survive the COVID-19 outbreak. Here are answers to many of the questions you may have about the CARES Act.
Will I get a check?
As long as you're a U.S. resident with a work-eligible social security number and meet the income requirements, you'll receive payment.
How much money will I get?
If you make less than $75,000 a year (or $150,000 for married couples), you'll receive $1,200 (or $2,400 for married couples filing jointly) — and another $500 per child under 17.
When will I get my check?
If we're being optimistic, some time around mid- to- late-April. Though historically, the time it takes for the federal government to issue stimulus checks has been closer to six weeks or more.
Will the check be sent through the mail or direct deposit?
That depends. Have you received direct deposit tax refunds in the past? If you've already provided your bank account information to the IRS for tax refund purposes, the payment will go straight to your bank account. If not, there's still time to register your 2019 tax refund for direct deposit. Otherwise, you will receive your check in the mail.
Do I have to fill out anything to get the check?
You already did. The IRS will base your payment on the information listed on your 2018 tax return (or 2019 return if you've filed it already). As long as you've filed taxes within the last two years and your information is up to date, there's no need to do anything at all.
How does this affect my 2019 tax refund?
The stimulus payment will not affect your refund for the 2019 tax year in any way.
Can I still take advantage of the extended tax deadline?
Absolutely. If you’ve decided to wait until the extended tax deadline (July 15) to submit your 2019 taxes, the IRS will reference your 2018 tax return to determine your tax stimulus eligibility and how much to send you.
Will I be taxed for this later?
No. This is not taxable income. Technically, it's just an advanced payment of a tax credit for the 2020 tax year.
Will college students living at home get a check?
If a young adult has been claimed as a dependent on tax returns from the last two years, they will not receive a check.
Will senior citizens get checks?
Retired seniors will receive checks as long as they fall within the income parameters and are not listed as dependents on someone else's return.
What if my check never arrives?
If you qualify for payment, you will receive a notice in the mail with information about where and when the government will send your check. Hold on to that notice. It will have information on it regarding how to contact the IRS in case your payment never arrives.
What if I moved recently?
If you've changed addresses since your last tax return, submit a change of address form as soon as you can. Even if you're receiving your payment through direct deposit, the Treasury will send the payment notice to your last known address.
For more information, read the Congressional Record.
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