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Economic Stimulus Check ImageOn March 25th President Donald Trump signed a $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package which included an emergency universal income payment of $1,200 for most Americans who earn under $75,000 a year. The IRS will make prorated payments to those making up to $99,000 a year. Married couples with an adjusted gross income that is less than $150,000 will get a check for $2,400. Prorated payments will be made to married couples earning up to $198,000. And all parents are eligible for $500 per child for kids under 17. It is anticipated that 94% of U.S. taxpayers will receive some sort of payment.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act or the CARES Act  has already provided stimulus payments to millions of taxpayers; however, countless others are still waiting for their payments to arrive. Reasons for the delay vary, but include questions regarding eligibility, home address, check amount, and delivery method. In some cases, eligibility was based on 2019 or 2018 tax returns. In other cases, things like veteran, social security, and/or retirement benefits helped determine qualification for payment. Additional criteria like citizenship, dependent status, and gross income are also contributing factors. Learn more about eligibility from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Guide to COVID-19 economic stimulus relief.

Two groups of people were asked to take action by May 5th in order to qualify for their full payment benefit: 1. Those who receive Supplemental Security Income; and, 2. Those who receive benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs and have dependent children under 17 but who didn’t file a 2018 or 2019 tax return. If you are in one of these categories and you missed the filing deadline you can still file for the $1,200 and get that now, but you will have to wait until next year when you file your 2020 taxes to receive the $500 per child benefit.

If you are not automatically eligible for an economic stimulus payment, have not yet received a payment, or do not file taxes you may still need to take action for financial assistance. Use the online portal for non-filers to enter required payment information. Do not use the online portal if you will be filing a 2019 tax return. Using the tool instead of filing your 2019 return will slow down processing of your return and delay any tax refund.

More information for non-filers can be found here: Economic Impact Payments for Non-tax Filers.

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