What you need to do to get your government stimulus check

Darnell Taylor
April 3, 2020

Payments will be distributed automatically, with no action required for most people.

This move reverses course on previous mandates which required seniors to fill-out an abbreviated tax return to receive the COVID-19 relief payment.

The Treasury Department official said it is building a web portal for Americans to provide direct deposit information if it's not on file with the government. But some populations that generally don't file returns, including seniors and low-income people who traditionally can't file tax returns, may be confused. The IRS will use the information Social Security has on file to distribute the benefit. That can be done at www.IRS.gov/coronavirus.

Many people who don't have direct deposit information on file with the IRS might have to wait months to get the money. HoHs will also receive $500 for each child under 17.

The coronavirus rescue bill will provide $1,200 checks to individual adults making less than $75,000 a year and $2,400 to married couples who file jointly and earn less than $150,000. These payments gradually decrease for people with incomes exceeding $75,000, $112,500 for head of households, or $150,000 for joint filers.

It should be noted that individuals or couples who have not submitted a tax filing for 2018 or 2019 can still receive an economic impact payment. Instead, it will go out automatically.

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Form SSA-1099 is mailed every year to people who receive Social Security benefits; it shows the amount of benefits received from Social Security in the previous year so the person knows how much Social Security income he or she would need to report on a tax return.

A group of 41 USA senators sent a letter to Mnuchin and Social Security Administration Commissioner Andrew Saul only hours before the reversal was announced, citing additional hardship caused by groups that would normally be able to help being unavailable due to the pandemic. Taxpayers should include their direct-deposit banking information on the return if they want it deposited in their account.

If a single filer's income is more than $99,000, he or she is not eligible ($198,000 for joint filers with no children).

"This filing requirement would place a significant burden on retired seniors and individuals who experience disabilities, especially given the current unavailability of tax filing assistance from Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs during the COVID-19 crisis", said a letter from more than three-dozen Democratic senators.

The money will be directly deposited into your bank account if the government has that information from your tax return.

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