Everything you need to know about the Stimulus Check

Are you receiving a stimulus check? When and How will you get your stimulus check? Are you getting $1,200?

Here’s what you need to know.

Stimulus Checks (Economic Impact Payments) are a part of the CARES Act which is a $2.2 Trillion stimulus package signed by Donald J Trump (basically money that the government borrows from the Federal Reserve). 

Will everyone get a stimulus check? No. However, most Americans that make under $99,000 will receive a stimulus check.

You qualify for a stimulus check if:

  1. You are a U.S. citizen/permanent resident
  2. Filed federal income taxes for 2018 or 2019
  3. If you meet the income thresholds in your AGI (Adjusted Gross Income) on your federal tax return
  4. You receive Social Security retirement.

Note: There’s no minimum adjusted gross income threshold to get a stimulus check, but there is a maximum amount of income that will disqualify you from receiving a stimulus check.

If your income is greater than $99,000 Single Filer/$198,000 Joint Filer (no children), you will not get a stimulus check.

If your adjusted gross income is lower than these numbers, you can qualify for a stimulus check of $1,200:

If your income is below $99,000, but higher than the $75,000, the stimulus check amount of $1,200 will get reduced by $5 for every $100 more in adjusted gross income that you have above $75,000 (individual/single filer), $112,500 (head of household) and $150,000 (married/joint filer) up to the maximum income threshold of $99,000.

Do I need to do anything to get a stimulus check? 

No and Yes. 

If you fit the criteria above, you will get a stimulus check automatically. It will just differ between direct deposit or a mailed check. 

When do I get my stimulus check?

The first checks via direct deposits were sent on April 9 to 2018/2019 taxpayers who provided their direct deposit information on their federal tax return. If you haven’t already, check the bank account you have provided to the IRS (if you have provided one). According to irs.gov, most direct deposits should arrive by April 14. 

What do I do if I have not provided direct deposit information to the IRS?

As of right now, a paper “stimulus” check will be mailed to you. The IRS will start sending paper stimulus checks beginning April 24 and will send around 5 million checks each week. They will send paper checks to the taxpayers with the lowest adjusted gross income(agi) first. Unfortunately, paper checks could take several months between May and September (depending on your adjusted gross income) to arrive. 

But, on April 17, the IRS will release a new online tool called Get My Payment, which will also enable you to input your direct deposit information to get your stimulus check faster.

A couple things to note: 

If you owe your bank, they can seize the $1,200 payment and use it to pay off outstanding debt. Congress only exempted the stimulus checks from debt collection if the debt is owed to federal or state agencies, unless the debt involves a child support payment.

Do I have to pay income taxes on my stimulus check? 

No, you don’t have to pay income taxes on your stimulus check.

I’m a college student. Will I get a stimulus check?

If you’re ages 17-24, and someone claimed you as a dependent on their federal tax return, that person also will not get the dependent payment and you will also not receive it. Why? To qualify for the $500 dependent payment, the dependent must be 16-years-old or younger. Now, let’s assume that you’re a college student who is financially independent and filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return. In this scenario, you can qualify for a stimulus check.

My child is a senior in high school and I claimed my child as a dependent. Do I get paid?

If your child is older than 16-years-old, unfortunately you won’t receive the $500 for each dependent. That means that many high school juniors and seniors – even if you financially support them – won’t qualify as dependents for purposes of the stimulus check.

*Only if you’re a college student and financially independent, meet all other requirements- you can receive a stimulus check.

I claim my parents as dependents on my tax return. Can I get a stimulus check for them?

Unfortunately, no. A dependent for purposes of the stimulus check means the dependent must be 16-years-old or younger. So, they would not qualify for the $500 dependent payment, which uses the same language and requirements as the Child Tax Credit.

My husband owes taxes to the IRS. Will the government use my stimulus check to pay back taxes?

No, the federal government will not take your stimulus check to pay back taxes. The same is true if you’re currently on an installment payment plan for your taxes as well.