Economic Impact Payments: What to know and expect


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$1,200 may be on its way to you to relieve the financial pain of the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are answers to common questions about the U.S. Treasury payments to taxpayers.

Economic Impact Payments will soon be on their way to many Americans facing hardship because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some details of the program are still being worked out by the U.S. Treasury and IRS, but here are answers to many common questions.

Who’s eligible and how much do people get?[i]

Individual taxpayers with an adjusted gross income up to $75,000 will automatically receive $1,200. Married couples filing a joint return with an Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) up to $150,000 receive $2,400. Parents will also receive $500 per eligible child under age 17.

Payments will be reduced by $5 for each $100 above the $75,000/$150,000 thresholds.

Single filers with income exceeding $99,000 and joint filers with income above $198,000 with no children are not eligible. Intuit has a free payment calculator here.

Social Security recipients and railroad retirees who are otherwise not required to file a tax return are also eligible and will not be required to file a return.

What do I need to do to get the economic impact payment?

Most taxpayers don’t need to do anything to get the economic impact payment. The IRS will use information from your 2019 tax return if it’s been filed, or your 2018 tax return if it hasn’t, to determine eligibility. Payments will go out automatically.

Taxpayers who typically do not file returns can enter their payment information here to receive an economic impact payment. This includes those receiving Veterans benefits and people who typically do not need to file income taxes or have zero AGI.

Retirees who don’t normally file a tax return do not have to take any action to receive their payment. Here’s how the IRS explains what will happen for these folks:

“The IRS will use the information on the Form SSA-1099 or Form RRB-1099 to generate Economic Impact Payments to recipients of benefits reflected in the Form SSA-1099 or Form RRB-1099 who are not required to file a tax return and did not file a return for 2018 or 2019. This includes senior citizens, Social Security recipients and railroad retirees who are not otherwise required to file a tax return.

“Since the IRS would not have information regarding any dependents for these people, each person would receive $1,200 per person, without the additional amount for any dependents at this time.”

When will I receive the money?

Payments will likely start going out the second or third week of April. When you’ll receive payment varies widely. At the time of writing this article, Politico reports that those with the lowest incomes and direct deposit will get their payments first. Paper checks will begin going out in May. It may take up to 20 weeks for everyone to receive their payment.

Here is the link that you can use to check the status of your payment. Click “Get My Payment.” Withdraw limits can be found here.

How will I receive my economic impact payment?

If you’ve provided direct deposit information with your 2019 or 2018 return for a refund, the IRS will deposit the funds into that account.

The money will show as pending first on your account and be tagged Tax REF IRS ID.

Many taxpayers, like 1099 workers, pay taxes in but don’t receive refunds. To speed up payments, the IRS has set up a Get My Payment webpage where you can provide your direct deposit info.

Entering your direct deposit information on Get My Payment just takes a few minutes, and you’ll need a couple figures from you 2018 or 2019 tax return to complete the form.

If the IRS doesn’t have your direct deposit information and you are eligible for the payment, they will send a paper check.

Please note that if you deposit your federal check in an ATM or Interactive Teller, it MUST be signed or it will be returned, which will delay your funds.

What if my account is negative?

The stimulus payment will post to your account just like any other deposit.

What if my account has been closed?

We understand that you may have closed your account and reopened another for various reasons over the past few years. We also understand how important this money is for you and your family. Wherever it is possible, we will get the funds into an account you can access. Otherwise it will be returned and a paper check will issue.

What if someone contacts me about the payment?

Payments will be made by direct deposit or paper check from the U.S. Treasury. Beware of phone calls, phishing emails and social media messages that attempt to trick you out of your money or commit identity theft.

The IRS says that scammers may:

  • Emphasize the words “Stimulus Check” or “Stimulus Payment.” The official term is “Economic Impact Payment.”
  • Ask the taxpayer to sign over their Economic Impact Payment check to them.
  • Ask by phone, email, text or social media for verification of personal and/or banking information saying that the information is needed to receive or speed up their Economic Impact Payment.
  • Suggest that they can get a tax refund or Economic Impact Payment faster by working on the taxpayer’s behalf. This scam could be conducted by social media or even in person.
  • Mail the taxpayer a bogus check, perhaps in an odd amount, then tell the taxpayer to call a number or verify information online in order to cash it.

And, directly from the IRS warning about coronavirus-related scams, a note especially for retirees:

“The IRS also reminds retirees who don’t normally have a requirement to file a tax return that no action on their part is needed to receive their $1,200 economic impact payment. Seniors should be especially careful during this period. The IRS reminds retirees— including recipients of Forms SSA-1099 and RRB-1099 —that no one from the agency will be reaching out to them by phone, email, mail or in person asking for any kind of information to complete their economic impact payment, also sometimes referred to as rebates or stimulus payments. The IRS is sending these $1,200 payments automatically to retirees – no additional action or information is needed on their part to receive this.”

Returning funds to the IRS

The IRS has indicated that individuals should return stimulus funds that were sent in error. If you are in that position, here are the instructions from the IRS:

If the payment was a paper check:

  1. Write “Void” in the endorsement section on the back of the check.
  2. Mail the voided Treasury check immediately to the appropriate IRS location listed below.
  3. Don’t staple, bend or paper clip the check.
  4. Include a note stating the reason for returning the check.

If the payment was a paper check and you have cashed it, or if the payment was a direct deposit:

  1. Submit a personal check, money order, etc., immediately to the appropriate IRS location listed below.
  2. Write on the check/money order made payable to “U.S. Treasury” and write 2020EIP, and the taxpayer identification number (Social Security number or individual taxpayer identification number) of the recipient of the check.
  3. Include a brief explanation of the reason for returning the EIP.

IRS address for Michiganders to mail to:

Kansas City Refund Inquiry Unit
333 W. Pershing Road
Mail Stop 6800, N-2
Kansas City, MO 64108

Information related to COVID-19 events is constantly changing. To keep you up to date, we created a dedicated webpage to provide you with tools and resources to help you out.

Consumers provides banking services for more than 100,000 members. If you have banking questions, call us at 800-991-2221. We make it easy to bank how you want, when you want. During the coronavirus confinement, we’re available online, by phone and by appointment at select offices equipped to maximize safety.

Federally insured by NCUA

[i] https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/economic-impact-payments-what-you-need-to-know

Tools and resources

Find the financial tools and resources you need during these uncertain times and stay up-to-date on our latest response to COVID-19.

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  1. Scott Owens says:

    I receive SS/DIS, I don’t file taxes because I don’t make enough money to file. I do file for my property taxes every year. I submitted a 1099 form to the IRS, so they do have my information on file. How do I get my stimulus package direct deposited into my account? I have a direct express card that my benefits are going on every month. Does it go there or my checking account?

  2. Tina Gorter says:

    What if we are behind on previous tex years? Will the stimulus payment automatically go towards that debt rather than come to us?

  3. Debra Brown says:

    I recieve SSI and SS will I recieve a stimulus payment? I filled out the paperwork for non filers.

  4. Debra Brown says:

    I have tried calling the number you left for me to call but all i get is a busy signal. Please send me a private emal with the answer to my previous question. Thank you.

  5. Deloris H. Eley says:

    I’ve tried the IRS Get Payment page (twice) and the reply was that there was an error in my information. I have filed a 2019 IRS e-file form from my Accountant. I filed jointly even though my husband is deceased — I used both my SS and his SS number, address and zip. Where is the error?
    Thank you.

  6. mary a catoe says:

    I would like to deposit our stimulus check in my checking account it is join, should we sign it it and for deposit and send it to the milwood address and enclude our driver’s licences picture ?

    • ConsumersCU says:

      Hi Mary, you can use our app to deposit it via your phone, our ATMs are open and accepting deposits, our ITMs are also open and accepting deposits if you would rather work with a teller through video chat. ATMs and ITMs are both located at all offices.

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