(as reported in the New York Times, March 26) https://www.nytimes.com/article/coronavirus-stimulus-package-questions-answers.html
The Senate unanimously passed a $2 trillion economic rescue plan on Wednesday that will offer assistance to tens of millions of American households affected by the coronavirus. Its components include stimulus payments to individuals, expanded unemployment coverage, student loan changes, different retirement account rules and more.
How large would the payments be?
Most adults would get $1,200, although some would get less. For every child age 16 or under, the payment would be an additional $500.
How many payments would there be?
Just one. Future bills could order up additional payments, though.
How do I know if I will get the full amount?
It depends on your income. Single adults with Social Security numbers who have an adjusted gross income of $75,000 or less would get the full amount. Married couples with no children earning $150,000 or less would receive a total of $2,400. And someone filing as head of household would get the full payment if they earn $112,500 or less.
Above those income figures, the payment decreases until it stops altogether for single people earning $99,000 or married people earning $198,000.
In any given family and in most instances, everyone must have a valid Social Security number. There is an exception for members of the military.
You can find your adjusted gross income on line 8b of the 2019 1040 federal tax return.
What year’s income should I be looking at?
2019. If you haven’t prepared a tax return yet, you can use your 2018 return. If you haven’t filed that yet, you can use a 2019 Social Security statement showing your income.
What if my recent income made me ineligible, but I anticipate being eligible because of a loss of income in 2020? Do I get a payment?
The bill does not appear to help people in that circumstance, but there are many other provisions in the legislation. You may be able to file for unemployment or for one of the new loans for small business owners or sole proprietors.
Would I have to apply to receive a payment?
No. If the Internal Revenue Service already has your bank account information, it would transfer the money to you via direct deposit based on the recent income-tax figures it already has.
When would they arrive?
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that he expected most people to get their payments within three weeks.
If my payment doesn’t come soon, how can I be sure that it wasn’t misdirected?
According to the bill, you would get a paper notice in the mail no later than a few weeks after your payment has been disbursed. That notice would contain information about where the payment ended up and in what form it was made. If you couldn’t locate the payment at that point, it would be time to contact the I.R.S. using the information on the notice.
What if I haven’t filed tax returns recently, would that affect my ability to receive a payment?
It could. File a return immediately, at least for 2018, according to the I.R.S. website. “Those without 2018 tax filings on record could potentially affect mailings of stimulus checks,” the site says.
(From the Federal Trade Commission website, March 18)
As the Coronavirus takes a growing toll on people’s pocketbooks, there are reports that the government will soon be sending money by check or direct deposit to each of us. The details are still being worked out, but there are a few really important things to know, no matter what this looks like.
1. The government will not ask you to pay anything up front to get this money. No fees. No charges. No nothing.
2. The government will not call to ask for your Social Security number, bank account, or credit card number. Anyone who does is a scammer.
3. These reports of checks aren’t yet a reality. Anyone who tells you they can get you the money now is a scammer.
Look, normally we’d wait to know what the payment plan looks like before we put out a message like this. But these aren’t normal times. And we predict that the scammers are gearing up to take advantage of this.
So, remember: no matter what this payment winds up being, only scammers will ask you to pay to get it. If you spot one of these scams, please tell the Federal Trade Commission: www.ftc.gov/complaint. We’re doing our best to stop these scammers in their tracks, and your report will help.
Keep up to date with the latest Coronavirus-related scams at www.ftc.gov/coronavirus or by signing up to get these consumer alerts.