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Stimulus Checks

By Joshua Z | April 13 2020

Coronavirus Stimulus Checks: How Much You May Get and When

The CARES Act kicks off a massive economic stimulus effort that, among other things, could put cash directly in your pocket soon. Here’s a rundown of how much money you might get, how it will arrive and when.

How much is my stimulus payment?

The U.S. Treasury will disburse up to $1,200 per adult and $500 per child under age 17. A married couple with two kids could get $3,400, for example.

When will stimulus checks arrive?

The text of the legislation says the Treasury will get money out the door “as rapidly as possible.” On April 2, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said at a news conference that money should start arriving within two weeks. This article is brought to you by Car Title Loans California.

stimulus payment

Who qualifies for a stimulus check?

Not everyone. There are a few hurdles.

  • Single filers whose 2019 adjusted gross incomes do not exceed $75,000 are eligible for the full $1,200 stimulus payment. From that point, payments shrink by $5 for every $100 of income, before expiring at $99,000.
  • Married couples who file jointly and whose 2019 AGIs do not exceed $150,000 are eligible for a full $2,400 stimulus payment. From that point, payments shrink by $5 for every $100 of income, before expiring at $198,000.
  • Heads of households whose 2019 AGIs do not exceed $112,500 are eligible for the full $1,200 stimulus payment. From that point, payments shrink by $5 for every $100 of income, before expiring at $136,500.

No matter your filing status, the stimulus includes $500 for every qualifying child under 17 you might have. So even if your income exceeds the maximum above, if you have kids you might still receive some money. 

Car Title Loans California offers title loans during COVID-19 too. Online title loans are a way of using the title of your car as collateral for obtaining short-term loans to sort out emergency and unplanned expenses that may arise in the course of one’s daily activities. 

Who doesn’t qualify for a stimulus payment?

  • Nonresident aliens. They don’t qualify for money under the CARES Act.
  • People who don’t have valid identification numbers. Everybody involved must provide a valid Social Security number or adoption taxpayer identification number (there are some exceptions for members of the military).
  • Certain dependents. If you are dependent on someone else’s tax return, you do not qualify. Although parents would get $500 payments for their qualifying dependent children, this means no payments for elderly or disabled adults and some students over age 16.

How will I get my stimulus payment?

Many of the mechanical details are still in the works, but one method the Treasury will use — perhaps the fastest one — is the direct deposit; many people have already provided the necessary bank account information to the IRS on their tax returns.

If you haven’t filed your 2019 tax return yet, the IRS will look to your 2018 tax return for direct deposit information, according to the text of the legislation. And if you haven’t filed a 2018 return or you’re not required to file a tax return, it will look to information from the Social Security Administration.

TurboTax has created an online portal for providing your bank information to the IRS. You may need to create a TurboTax account and provide some personal and financial data. (The company tells NerdWallet the information will not be used for marketing or list management.) TurboTax says the bank details you provide are transmitted to the IRS “right away.”

Alternatively, the IRS has said it will create its online portal for this purpose. And as mentioned earlier, if your bank details are the same as they were on your 2019 or 2018 tax return, you do not need to do anything to receive your stimulus money there. Title loans are also referred to as a pink slip loan.

simplified tax return

Do I have to file a simplified tax return for a stimulus check?

If you haven’t filed a tax return for 2018 or 2019, the IRS will use information from Form SSA-1099 or Form RRB-1099 to figure out what to send you. This may be the case for many senior citizens, Social Security recipients, and railroad retirees. Note that the IRS won’t have information about your dependents in this scenario, so each person will get up to $1,200 and nothing additional for any dependents.

(Previously the IRS had indicated that people who haven’t filed tax returns for 2018 or 2019 would need to file a simplified tax return so that it could get at least some information for calculating the check amount and sending it to the right place. That’s no longer the case.)

Does the stimulus check have to be repaid?

Unless you got the money fraudulently, no.

Will the stimulus checks be taxed as income?

No. It’s what’s called a “refundable tax credit.”

things to know

What else should I know?

Five things.

  1. If you owe back taxes, you’ll still get money if you otherwise qualify. If you owe child support, however, your check will shrink.
  2. When it comes to the age 17 limit for dependents, the legislation leans on the existing rules for the child tax credit. Those rules say the child has to be 17 at the end of the tax year (in this case, 2020) to qualify.
  3. If you haven’t filed your 2019 tax return, now might be a good time if for no other reason than to make sure the IRS has your current information and bank account details.
  4. Watch your mailbox and your bank account. You should get a letter in the mail from the Treasury no more than 15 days after it disburses the money to you. It will indicate how the payment was made, how much it was for, and provide an IRS phone number if you have questions or didn’t get the money.
  5. If you “made too much” in 2019, you may not get a check now even if you lose your job in 2020. But you might be made whole later (and don’t forget about filing for unemployment in the meantime). That’s because these stimulus checks are technically an advance on a 2020 tax credit that’s available all year. So, if your 2020 adjusted gross income ends up being under the limit or you have a baby, you might be able to claim the tax credit (or more of the tax credit) when you file next year’s tax return. Know more about Title Loans at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Title_loan.