Where is my stimulus check, you ask? The IRS has started automatically directly depositing stimulus checks – referred to as “Economic Impact Payments”. Keep in mind, these payments need to be made to nearly 140 million eligible Americans.
Some of you may have already received your payment. Lucky you! But, if not, don’t fret. Remember that this is going to be a process to get these payments out to all 140 million Americans. According to CNN, about 60 million Americans are still waiting for their money.
Some people, who don’t usually file a tax return, will need to submit basic information to the IRS before they will receive their payment. The IRS is regularly updating the Economic Impact Payment and the Get My Payment tool frequently asked questions pages on IRS.gov as more information becomes available.
Answers to the Most Common Questions:
How are payments calculated and where will they be sent?
If taxpayers have already filed their 2019 tax return and requested direct deposit of their refund, the IRS will use this information to calculate and send their payment. Those who didn’t provide 2019 direct deposit information or owed tax, can use the Get My Payment tool to provide account information or a payment will be mailed. For those who haven’t filed their 2019 return, the IRS will use their 2018 tax return to calculate the payment.
Payments will also be automatic for those who receive Social Security, railroad retirement or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI and SSI) and veteran’s benefits who don’t normally file a tax return.
However, to add the $500 per eligible child amount to these payments, the IRS needs the dependent information before the payments are issued. Otherwise, their payment at this time will be $1,200 and, by law, the additional $500 per eligible child amount would be paid in association with a return filing for tax year 2020.
What if the IRS doesn’t have the taxpayer’s direct deposit information?
If the IRS has not processed the taxpayer’s payment, the taxpayer may be able to use the Get My Payment tool to provide their banking information to the agency so their payments can be directly deposited. If no banking information is provided, IRS will mail a check to the taxpayer’s address on record. The direct debit account information used to make payments to the IRS cannot be used as the account information for the direct deposit of your payment.
Can taxpayers who aren’t required to file a tax return receive a payment?
Yes. People who don’t normally file can use Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info tool to give IRS basic information to get their Economic Impact Payments. This includes low-income or no income taxpayers.
Can taxpayers who haven’t filed a tax return for 2018 or 2019 still receive a payment?
Yes. Anyone who is required to file a tax return and has not filed a tax return for 2018 or 2019 should file their 2019 return do so as soon as possible to receive a payment. They should include direct deposit banking information on their return.
WATCH OUT FOR SCAMMERS!
The bad guys are out there phishing with renewed fervor. Phishing sites have increased 235% since the COVID-19 outbreak. Scammers have set up over 180,000 fake Coronavirus-themed websites to steal data or misinform taxpayers. Don’t take the bait.
According to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, (TIGTA) the agency has already begun to see IRS Imposters playing every trick in the book to get personal information they can use to steal money. While the IRS Criminal Investigation Unit is doing all they can to combat this problem, people are still falling victim to these scams. Scammers are preying on vulnerable individuals who are not sure how best to get their stimulus payment.
TIPS TO NOT FALL VICTIM
- Do not respond to anyone contacting you if they claim to be from the IRS. The IRS will never ever call you.
- You may receive emails, text messages or contacted via social media by someone asking for verification of personal and/or banking info. They’ll claim the information is needed before you can receive your stimulus payment. Never give out your personal information.
- NEVER click on links or open attachments in emails or text messages. Always go directly to the website using your internet browser.
- You are not required to pay a fee to receive your payment, nor will paying an upfront fee result in you receiving your stimulus check faster.
- Pay attention to web address extensions. The IRS website ends in “.gov” NOT “.com” or “.org” or “.net”.
- Watch your spelling when entering a website address. Scammers register websites with misspelled names or similar names of legitimate websites in hopes of tricking you.
To read a prior article I have recently written about IRS scams, go here