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  • Apr 14, 2020

Stimulus Checks - everything you need to know

The federal government is sending stimulus checks (also known as Economic Impact Payments) to millions of Americans.

The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service announced distribution of stimulus checks (also known as Economic Impact Payments) will begin within the three weeks following March 30, 2020, and will be distributed automatically, with no action required for most people. However, individuals who do not typically file tax returns will need to submit a simple tax return to receive the stimulus payment. Below, we have outlined the most common questions and details you should know about economic impact payments.

 

You are eligible for a stimulus check if one of the following describes you:

·       You are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident who filed federal income taxes for 2018 or 2019 and you meet the income thresholds (listed below)

·       You receive Social Security retirement, disability (SSDI), or survivor benefits

·       You receive Railroad Retirement benefits

 

Your stimulus amount and eligibility is based on your adjusted gross income on your 2018 or 2019 federal tax return. There is no minimum adjusted gross income threshold to get a stimulus check, but there is a maximum amount of income you can earn that will disqualify you from receiving a stimulus check.

 

When will I get my stimulus check?

The first ACH payments were scheduled to be transmitted on Friday, April 10th, with a settlement date of Wednesday April 15th. However, this will only be the first wave of payments and additional accountholders may receive their payment in the ensuing weeks. The remaining waves will be scheduled on Fridays with settlement dates of the following Wednesdays. See schedule listed below.
 

·         April 10th with an available date of April 15th

·         April 17th with an available date of April 22nd

·         April 24th with an available date of April 29th

 

You may see the full amount pending within your online or mobile banking account screen until the above listed available date. If you are not currently enrolled in online banking with GFA you can complete that process here

 

If you have any questions directly related to the Economic Impact Payment within your GFA Federal Credit Union account feel free to call us directly at 1-978-632-2542 or click here to send an inquiry and receive a response within the next business day.

 

I didn’t provide my direct deposit information on my tax return. When will my stimulus check arrive?

If you did not provide direct deposit information, the IRS will send you a paper stimulus check. The IRS will start sending paper stimulus checks beginning April 24th. Each week, the IRS plans to send approximately 5 million paper stimulus checks, starting with taxpayers with the lowest adjusted gross income. If that schedule holds, paper checks could take several months between May and September (depending on your adjusted gross income) to arrive.

 

How do I get my stimulus check faster?

If you didn’t include your direct deposit information on your 2018 or 2019 federal income tax return, don’t worry. There’s good news for you. On April 17th, the IRS will release a new online tool called "Get My Payment", which will also enable you to input your direct deposit (bank account) information to get your stimulus check faster.

 

More information on “Get My Payment” can be found here: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payments

 

If the IRS already has your direct deposit information from your 2019 or 2018 tax filing, you can track where your money is by using the "Get My Payment" app.

This app by the IRS will allow you to:

·         Check the status of your Economic Impact Payment (stimulus check)

·         Find out if your check is coming via direct deposit or paper check in the mail

·         You can also update your bank information if your check has not been sent yet

The IRS expects this app to be available mid-April, likely around the 17th. For more information and to download the app when it’s available visit https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payments

 

What are the income thresholds to get a stimulus check?

If your adjusted gross income is greater than the below amounts, you will not get a stimulus check:

·         Single Filer: $99,000

·         Joint Filer (no children): $198,000

 

If your adjusted gross income is lower than the below amounts, you can qualify for a stimulus check of $1,200:

·         Single Filer: $75,000

·         Head of Household: $112,500

·         Married/Joint Filer: $150,000

 

How much money will I get?

If your adjusted gross income falls within the can qualify numbers above, your stimulus check amount will be:

·         Individuals: $1,200

·         Married Couples: $2,400

 

You are also eligible to receive additional money based on the number of dependents you claimed on your most recent tax return:

·         Dependent Children: $500 (must be less than 17-years-old)

 

What if my income is below the maximum income amount, but higher than the income levels that get the full $1,200 stimulus check?

The stimulus check amount phases out by $5 for every $100 above certain income levels based on your tax filing status. This means your stimulus check will get reduced by $5 for every $100 more in adjusted gross income that you have above $75,000 (individual/single filer), $112,500 (head of household) and $150,000 (married/joint filer) up to the maximum income threshold.

 

Does everyone get a $1,200 stimulus check?

No. If you qualify for a stimulus check, your stimulus check may be less than $1,200 because if you have higher adjusted gross income, the amount of your check can be lower due to the phase out.

 

I’m a college student. Will I get a stimulus check?

It depends.

·       If someone claimed you as a dependent on their federal tax return, then unfortunately, you won’t get a stimulus check.

·       If you’re ages 17-24, and someone claimed you as a dependent on their federal tax return, that person also will not get the dependent payment either.

o      Why? To qualify for the $500 dependent payment, the dependent must be 16-years-old or younger. Now let’s assume that you’re a college student who is financially independent and filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return. In this scenario, you can qualify for a stimulus check.

 

What if my child is a senior in high school and I claimed my child as a dependent.

If your child is older than 16-years-old, unfortunately you won’t receive the $500 for each dependent. That means that many high school juniors and seniors - even if you financially support them - won’t qualify as dependents for purposes of the stimulus check.

 

I claim my parents as dependents on my tax return. Will I get a stimulus check for them?

Unfortunately, no. A dependent for purposes of the stimulus check means the dependent must be 16-years-old or younger. So, they would not qualify for the $500 dependent payment, which uses the same language and requirements as the Child Tax Credit.

 

I owe taxes to the IRS. Will the government use my stimulus check to pay back taxes?

No, the federal government will not take your stimulus check to pay back taxes. The same is true if you’re currently on an installment payment plan for your taxes as well.

 

People who don't usually file taxes because their income is under the reporting threshold, are on Social Security benefits, earn non-taxable income, or for other reasons can now use a portal to give the IRS their direct deposit information.

·       Go to https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payments

·       Click on "Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here"

·       On the next page (which has useful information about who needs to do this), click on the blue button in the middle of the screen to go to the portal

The IRS suggests you use this application if your income was less than $12,200, or $24,400 for married couples, in 2019. If you are not normally required to file a federal income tax return and did not/will not do so for 2019, the IRS suggests you use this as well.

 

To complete the process, you'll need:

·       Your name

·       Date of birth

·       Social Security number

·       IRS identity protection PIN (if you have one)

·       Information from your driver's license or state ID

·       Your bank account type, account number, routing number GFA Federal Credit Unions routing number is: 211383066

 
Need additional information about the Economic Impact Payments?
The IRS will post all key information on IRS.gov/coronavirus as soon as it becomes available.


The New England Automated Clearing House (NEACH) has compiled a list of Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) FAQs based on the latest information which can be found here https://www.neach.org/Solutions/COVID-19-Information/EIP-FAQs.


Although we will do what we can to help our members, please note that GFA Federal Credit Union has not been involved in the preparation of the content supplied on the IRS or NEACH websites above and does not guarantee or assume any responsibility for their content.

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