The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) legislation includes the Economic Impact Payments distributed by the Internal Revenue Service.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE
Eligible taxpayers may qualify for up to $1,200 each, or up to $2,400 if married filing jointly, and up to $500 for each qualifying child.
A qualifying child is one who was claimed as a dependent on the last filed tax return, tax year 2019 or tax year 2018, and who will not reach age 17 by Dec. 31, 2020. This is the same criteria used to determine eligibility for the Child Tax Credit.
The gross amount of the payment is reduced by $5 for each $100 earned above $75,000 for single filers, $112,500 for head of household filers and $150,000 for married filing joint filers. Single filers with income exceeding $99,000, $136,500 for head of household filers and $198,000 for joint filers with no qualifying children are not eligible and will not receive payments.
If you’re a U.S. citizen with income less than $12,000 ($24,000 for married couples) and aren't generally required to file a tax return with the IRS, you can use the Economic Impact Payments registration tool to provide the IRS with your information needed to determine your eligibility and payment amount.
WHO ISN’T ELIGIBLE
Tax filers whose adjusted gross income exceeds certain threshold amounts are not eligible.
Who Is Not Eligible
||ADJUSTED GROSS INCOME
| Single or married filing separate
(with no qualifying child)
| Head of Household
| Married filing joint
(with no qualifying child)
Also, you may not be eligible if:
- You can be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s return. For example, this would include a child, student or older dependent who can be claimed on a parent’s return.
- You do not have a valid Social Security number. A taxpayer with an individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) does not qualify.
- You are a nonresident alien.
- You filed Form 1040-NR or Form 1040NR-EZ, Form 1040-PR or Form 1040-SS for 2019.
FILING A TAX RETURN
In general, taxpayers who already filed tax returns, either in 2018 and 2019, will automatically get their payment, and with respect to the payment only, do not need to do anything further at this time. If you haven’t filed your 2019 tax return yet, you should file it when you are able. The IRS will use information from your 2018 tax return to calculate your payment amount. For more information on when your 2019 tax return is due, see Filing and Payment Relief below.
Taxpayers who receive Social Security retirement or Railroad Retirement benefits, who are not typically required to file tax returns, will not need to file to receive a payment. The IRS will use the information on the Form SSA-1099 and Form RRB-1099 to generate Economic Impact Payments of $1,200 to these individuals even if they did not file tax returns in 2018 or 2019. Recipients will receive these payments as a direct deposit or by paper check, just as they would normally receive their benefits. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) recipients are also part of this group who don't need to take action. But see the Taxpayers Not Normally Required to File A Tax Return section below if you are one of the taxpayers just described who normally do not have to file, but you have qualifying children under age 17.
TAXPAYERS NOT NORMALLY REQUIRED TO FILE A TAX RETURN
Some taxpayers who typically do not file returns will need to submit a simple tax return to receive the economic impact payment.
If you’re a U.S. citizen with gross income less than $12,200 ($24,00 for married couples) and aren't generally required to file a tax return with the IRS, you can us the ‘Non-Filers: Enter Your Payment Info Here’ tool to provide the IRS with your information needed to determine your eligibility and payment amount.
You should complete this tool as quickly as possible, so the IRS has the information it needs to issue your payment. There is no fee to use this tool.
Special note: People in these groups, who have qualifying children under age 17, can use this tool to claim the $500 payment per qualifying child. Otherwise, you may not be able to claim qualifying children until or unless you file for tax year 2020.
PAYMENT DISTRIBUTION - WHEN WILL I GET MY PAYMENT
The IRS began issuing payments to taxpayers who already had existing direct deposit information on file the week of April 13, 2020. Payments will continue to be issued over the coming weeks and months.
This includes taxpayers who filed tax returns in 2018 and 2019 and most seniors and retirees.
Use the "Get My Payment" application to:
- Check your payment status
- Confirm your payment type: direct deposit or check
- Update direct deposit bank account information in some situations
Note: You cannot use the Get My Payment application to update the direct deposit bank account information after an Economic Impact Payment has been scheduled for delivery. To help protect against potential fraud, the application also does not allow you to change direct deposit bank account information already on file with the IRS. However, if you who did not use direct deposit on your last tax return to receive a refund, or when your direct deposit information was inaccurate and resulted in a refund check, you will be able to provide that information and speed up payment with a deposit into your bank account.
Special note: If you have existing past due child support obligations, your payment will be sent to the agency in control of those accounts instead of refunded directly to you. All other debts to which the IRS normally applies refunds will not be paid using your Economic Impact Payment. For more information on regular tax refund offsets, see our Refund Offset page.
PAYMENT LETTERS WITH INSTRUCTIONS TO FOLLOW, IF YOU DID NOT RECEIVE IT
For security reasons, the IRS mails a letter (Notice 1444, Your Economic Impact Payment) about the Economic Impact Payment to each taxpayer’s last known address within 15 days after the payment is paid. This letter provides information on how the payment was made and how to report any failure to receive the payment. Reminder: Be sure to keep your copy of Notice 1444 for your records.
If you are unsure if you received a legitimate letter, the IRS urges you to visit IRS.gov first to protect against scam artists.
The IRS’s “Get My Payment” application, will help you check your payment status, confirm your payment type, and update your bank info. The Get My Payment application will not, however, allow you to change your address. To change your address:
- If you have not filed your 2019 tax return, enter your new address on your return when you file. The IRS updates its records when your return is processed. File electronically to ensure your return will be processed more quickly.
- If you have filed your 2019 tax return and you did not receive a refund via direct deposit, your payment will be mailed to the address the IRS has on file for you. This is generally the address on your most recent return or as updated through the United States Postal Service (USPS). If you have moved since filing your 2019 tax return, you should notify the IRS by filing Form 8822, Change of Address. You should also notify the Post Office serving your old address.
- PAYMENT RECEIVED BY CHECK - LOST, STOLEN OR DESTROYED. HOW DO I GET A NEW ONE?
If you received your Payment by check and it was either lost, stolen, or destroyed, you should request a payment trace. See Frequently Asked Question #52, How do I request a Payment Trace on my Economic Impact Payment? for more information on how to request a payment trace.
- ECONOMIC IMPACT PAYMENTS BELONG TO RECIPIENT, NOT NURSING HOMES OR CARE FACILITIES
The IRS issued a reminder following concerns that people and businesses may be taking advantage of vulnerable populations who received the Economic Impact Payments.
Visit the IRS Economic Impact Payment Information Center for more details on Economic Impact Payment eligibility. Also see Get My Payment Frequently Asked Questions (tool) and Economic Impact Payment Frequently Asked Questions.