The U.S. Government signed a bill into law providing for a stimulus check for Americans to counteract the economic fallout from the COVID-19 coronavirus. This stimulus package is known as the CARES Act – Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.
The financial impacts of the coronavirus have been hitting from left field, right field, outfield, and especially at home base. Literally millions of American citizens have lost their jobs, hopefully only on a temporary basis. These millions have filed for unemployment which is also putting a severe stretch on those funds.
But getting back to home base, is that stimulus rebate really going to help?
The rebate amounts to $1,200 per individual, including $2,400 for married couples who filed a joint tax return. Additionally, up to $500 per qualifying child may be added to the total rebate received for families and single parents.
To qualify, certain AGI (adjusted gross income) limits cannot be exceeded – up to: $75,000 for singles, $150,000 for married, and $112,500 for head of household.
For those that already filed taxes for 2019, the rebate will be based on the AGI for that year. For those who have not filed yet, it will be based on AGI for 2018.
The good news is if you filed your taxes electronically, rebates are being sent to that same account just as long as that account is still active. But if you filed by mail, then you will receive a paper check in the mail. It will be mailed to the last address the IRS has on file for you. And that’s all you have to do to receive the rebate.
According to US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, they were pushing to get the stimulus checks out starting April 6. Using history as a point of reference, the last time a stimulus check was issued was in 2008 during the Great Recession, and that time it took several months for Americans to receive their rebates. Let’s hope that 12 years later, the US banking and government system is much more up to speed so it can respond in a timely manner.
There are those who do not have to file income tax returns because they don’t make enough money. For example, for 2019 taxes, single filers younger than 65 with a gross income of less than $12,200 wouldn’t be required to file a federal income tax return. They could, however, still file if they’ve had federal income tax withheld from their paychecks or are eligible for a refundable credit and want to get a refund.
For those who weren’t required to file taxes for 2018 or 2019 or wouldn’t have filed for any other reason, and didn’t receive Social Security benefits in 2019, they don’t have to file just to get a stimulus payment. The IRS has launched a free online portal for non-filers. The filer provides information that will allow the IRS to determine eligibility and payment amount and send a payment if qualified.
The deadline for claiming a rebate is December 31, 2020.