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  • Jennifer Brugh

What You Want to Know About Economic Impact Payments

Updated: Apr 3

Let me begin by saying that the information contained in this blog is the most current information available at the time of publication. I will do my best to post updates if and when they are released by the Department of Treasury or IRS. For the latest information, you can also go to irs.gov/coronavirus.



Q: Do I need to "sign up" to get a check?

A: No. If you filed your 2018 or 2019 tax return, this information will be used to determine your eligibility and the IRS will automatically distribute payments based on eligibility.


Q: What are the income limits for eligibility?

A: Single individuals with adjusted gross income under $75,000 qualify for the maximum credit of $1,200. Individuals between $75,000 and $99,000 will receive payments reduced by $5 for each $100 over $75,000. Married individuals who file jointly with an adjusted gross income below $150,000 qualify for the maximum credit of $1,200 each or $2,400 total. Married couples making between $150,000 and $198,000 will receive payments reduced by $5 for each $100 above the $150,000 threshold. For those claiming Head of Household, anyone with an adjusted gross income of $112,500 will qualify for the maximum credit. The payments are reduced for those that have adjusted gross income between $112,500 and $146,500. If you meet those income thresholds, there will also be an additional $500 for each qualifying child.


Q: What is a qualifying child?

A: A qualifying child is a child of the taxpayer age 16 or under. The child must have been claimed as a dependent on your tax return and must have a social security number.


Q: How will payments be disbursed?

A: IRS will direct deposit payments to eligible individuals who have direct deposit information on file from the 2018 or 2019 filed return. Treasury plans to develop an online portal for eligible taxpayers to provide banking information if it was not provided with their 2018 or 2019 return. Paper checks will be issued if no direct deposit information is provided.


Q: What if I no longer bank at the bank used for direct deposit of my 2018 tax refund?

A: The bank would reject the deposit. Individuals can use the IRS portal to provide updated direct deposit information when it is released or would then be issued a paper check if no banking information is provided to the IRS.


Q: What if I am not required to file a tax return?

A: Some individuals, such as those receiving Social Security or disability income are not required to file tax returns. The IRS will be using forms SSA-1099 and RRB-1099s to determine eligibility for Economic Impact Payments.


Q: If I owe taxes from prior years, will I qualify for a stimulus payment, or will the IRS apply it to my prior balances?

A: No. The law specifically exempts this credit from the Offset program. It will also not be held and applied to state income tax debts, workers compensation debts, or other Federal agency debts. It can still be intercepted for support obligations.


Q: Can I get a stimulus check if I was a dependent on someone else's return?

A: No. Dependents of other taxpayers are not eligible for the credit. If you were a dependent in 2018 and not in 2019, it is in your best interest to file your 2019 return as soon as possible.


Q: When will I receive a check or deposit if I qualify?

A: Currently, IRS is saying it will begin disbursements within 3 weeks. However, they have not yet set up the online portal, so if they do not have your direct deposit information, this may delay your payment, as paper checks will take longer. If you have not yet filed 2018 or 2019 taxes, your return will need to be filed and processed before IRS will process the credit. Return processing typically takes 6-8 weeks, though this time frame may be impacted by current staffing levels at the IRS.


Disclaimer: The information contained in this blog and on this website are for informational purposes only and should not be interpreted to indicate a certain result will occur in your specific legal situation. The information contained in this post and on this site is not legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Supreme Court of Illinois does not recognize certifications of specialties in the practice of law.

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