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Stimulus check FAQs: Who gets one, when it will come

The most common questions about the $1,200 stimulus
White House commits to sending stimulus checks within 2 weeks
Posted at 11:05 AM, Apr 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-08 13:47:07-04

The bill is signed, the $2 trillion stimulus is on the way.

But many people are still confused, and wonder if they will really see a check for $1,200.

So we have put together an updated list of the most frequently asked questions (FAQ's) based on what is known the second week of April.

Q: How will I receive my check?

If your last IRS tax refund was direct deposit, the money will go directly to your bank account.

If you received your refund the old-fashioned way, by mail, it will come by mail. But that could take several months, the government says.

The IRS is supposed to set up a portal on its website in the coming days where you can enter an updated bank account.

Q: Will I qualify for a $1,200 stimulus check?

Under the current plan, 90% of adults should qualify for an initial $1,200 stimulus payment, with a second payment possible later this spring. If they qualify:

  • Individuals will receive a check for $1,200.
  • Married couples will receive a check for $2,400.
  • Each dependent child will receive $500 (payable to their parents). If your child is a college student who works a job, the rules are still murky as to who gets the check.

Q: Who does not qualify for a check?

High-income individuals will not receive a check.

  • Benefits will phase out starting at $75,000 in Adjusted Gross Income.
  • Singles earning more than $99,000 (Adjusted Gross Income) in 2019 will not receive any check.
  • Married couples earning more than $198,000 in 2019 will not receive any check.

Q: What if you owe back child support or back taxes?

Right now, it does not appear the government will take anything out of your check for unpaid taxes or other government liens.

However, the Wall Street Journal says back child support will likely be taken out of your check.

Q: What if you get Social Security and do not file taxes?

Seniors on Social Security and younger people on disability will now qualify for a check automatically.

If you receive Social Security, you do not have to file any tax forms, and the check will go to the same bank account (or mailbox) where you receive your monthly benefit check.

However, if you are a younger person with very little income who does not file taxes, you must have filed taxes last year or this spring.

Your check will be based on your 2018 or 2019 tax return. So younger people must file a 1040 this spring, or the government has no way of knowing if you qualify.

Q: What if some of your income is unreported cash?

That should not affect the checks, as they are based on your last tax return.

Q: When will I receive my money?

Congressional leaders hope to have the first checks heading for your bank account in the next week or two. However, if the IRS does not have a bank account number on file, it could be three months before you see your check.

Q: Will I have to pay it back next year at tax time? Will it be deducted from next year's tax refund? No, and no, according to Forbes Magazine. It is yours to keep.

As always, don't waste your money.


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