Questions About Debt Collectors & Your 3rd Stimulus Check
Its a sigh of relief knowing your third stimulus check will not be garnished to pay child support debts. But as we mentioned above, the IRS could garnish your third check if you claim missing money as Recovery Rebate Credit. Not to mention, private debt collectors will be eager to redirect your third payment to cover certain debts.
We know you may have questions. Come to our Putnam County family lawyers for answers. To learn more, drop us a line at 605-4330!
Stimulus Check Payout Schedule
The IRS has confirmed that the distribution of economic impact payments has started and millions of Americans should have their stimulus check payment by now. Note that this will likely only apply to those receiving the payment via direct deposit . You can see the status of your stimulus check payment on the IRS Get My Payment portal.
- Direct Deposit payments will generally be deposited 2 to 3 days after the IRS confirms income eligibility for the payout.
- Physical checks will take at least 6 to 8 weeks to be mailed out.
Social Security Retirees and Disability recipients who are eligible for the payment will get the stimulus checks/payments deposited the same way they currently get their payments.
Given over 120 million Americans could be eligible for the payment, it will take a while to process the stimulus checks.
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Third Stimulus Check And Child Support
The previous two stimulus packages treated those owing back child support differently. With the first stimulus, payments to individuals that owed child support could be reduced to offset any back child support owed. The second stimulus act did not garnish payments if the individual owed past-due child support.
There is no way to predict the details of the next stimulus package, but child support has been addressed in the latest proposal being debated in Congress. According to this proposal, people who owe child support would be able to get their full stimulus payment, but possibly only on advance payments such as a paper check, direct deposit, or EIP card that is sent automatically by the IRS. The final package will go into greater detail about how past-due child support will impact any stimulus check money received.
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First Round Of Stimulus
What are the Economic Impact Payments?
On March 27, 2020, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, which, among other things, authorizes economic impact payments to eligible individuals. For details on these economic impact payments, please visit www.irs.gov/coronavirus.
Under the CARES Act signed on March 27, 2020, the first stimulus payment was required to be intercepted to pay child support arrears. If you pay child support through the states IV-D program and owe child support, the Federal Treasury Offset Program reduced your first stimulus payment up to the amount owed. The intercepted amount was applied toward your child support arrears.
Will my first stimulus payment be intercepted to pay my child support arrears?
Yes, if you pay child support through the states IV-D program and owe child support, the Federal Treasury Offset Program will reduce your stimulus payment up to the amount owed. This amount will be applied toward your child support arrears.
How does the Federal Treasury Offset Program know how much to reduce my first stimulus payment?
DCSS must, by law, certify past-due child support debts to the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement for federal enforcement.
- Cases with public assistance or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families arrears are referred if the total balance of TANF arrears is $150 or more.
- Cases without public assistance/TANF arrears are referred if the total balance $500 or more.
When Will The Third Stimulus Check Be Issued
The government started sending the third stimulus checks on March 12, 2021. The IRS continues to send third stimulus checks as people submit their information to the IRS either by filing a 2020 tax return or using GetCTC.org. The deadline to use GetCTC.org is November 15, 2021.
If you have your banking information on file, the IRS sent your payment via direct deposit. Otherwise, you will receive your payment as a check or debit card via mail. Mailed checks and debit cards may take longer to deliver.
If you dont fall into any of these categories, youll have to wait to receive your third stimulus check. You will need to file a 2020 federal tax return to get the third stimulus check or use GetCTC.org if you dont have a filing requirement.
You can also get the first and second stimulus check as the Recovery Rebate Credit on your tax return or GetCTC.org if you are eligible.
Recommended Reading: How Long Will It Take To Get Stimulus Check
New Dependent Guidelines Open Up Eligibility For The Third Stimulus Payment
The third stimulus check makes dependents of all ages count toward the family total, for $1,400 apiece. This time around, a qualifying dependent is anyone you claim on your taxes, including a qualifying child younger than 19 years old, a student younger than 24 years old or a qualifying relative who relies on you for care.
Stimulus check details can make working out your take-home total a little confusing.
Where Is My Third Stimulus Check
You can track the status of your third stimulus check by using the IRS Get My Payment tool, available in English and Spanish. You can see whether your third stimulus check has been issued and whether your payment type is direct deposit or mail.
When you use the IRS Get My Payment tool, you will get one of the following messages:
Payment Status, which means:
- A payment has been processed. You will be shown a payment date and whether the payment type is direct deposit or mail or
- Youre eligible, but a payment has not been processed and a payment date is not available.
Payment Status Not Available, which means:
- Your payment has not been processed or
- Youre not eligible for a payment.
Need More Information, which means:
- Your payment was returned to the IRS because the post office was unable to deliver it. If this message is displayed, you will have a chance to enter your banking information and receive your payment as a direct deposit. Otherwise, you will need to update your address before the IRS can send you your payment.
Read Also: Is There A Third Stimulus Check Coming Out
Why Doesn’t Injured Spouse Relief Apply
One possible reason, experts say, is the IRS hasnt issued guidance yet on injured spouse relief, according to Lisa Greene-Lewis, a certified public accountant at TurboTax.
The IRS typically works with the Office of Child Support Enforcement so the agency is aware of who has fallen behind on child support payments. Its possible the IRS is still awaiting guidance from OCSE on how to handle injured spouse relief, Greene-Lewis says.
We just havent seen that type of guidance on injured spouse relief this time around for the stimulus checks, Greene-Lewis says.
The Administration for Families and Children, which oversees the Office of Child Support Enforcement, didnt immediately respond to requests for comment.
Shanna Kidwell, a 34-year-old mother in Tiffin, Ohio, says her familys $4,400 stimulus payment, which includes $500 for each of her four children, was withheld by the IRS because her husband owes about $45,000 in back child support for two children from previous relationships.
Before the stimulus checks, the government took about $300 from his biweekly paycheck for child support. Now, his stimulus check and tax refund will also be garnished.
That stimulus could have helped us get caught up on bills, says Kidwell, who recently had surgery. The government needs to quit punishing families of the person that owes a debt. My kids have nothing to do with this, and its unfair they’re paying for it.
When Will The New Stimulus Payments/checks Be Made
The IRS will be responsible for making these stimulus payment checks and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, whose department oversees the IRS, said that payments go out within a week of the bill being formally approved. This means payments could hit bank accounts before the end of the year. Payments would be made in multiple batches and if all goes according to plan the first round of payments would begin on 12/28 . Processing will go until January 15th for Direct Deposit payments. Checks and Debit Cards will take until the end of January 2020 to get processed. See more on the IRS Stimulus Check Payment Schedule.
The inclusion of the one-time stimulus payment however has also meant a cut in extra unemployment benefits that are also part of the overall package. More to come as the bill gets finalized and I will post updates. See this $600 stimulus update video for a quick summary as well.
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When Is The Government Allowed To Garnish My Stimulus Payment
The IRS is not permitted to take your stimulus money for things like unpaid student loans or back child support. However, CNET explains that if you are filing for any missing stimulus money as a Recovery Rebate Credit on your tax return this year, the IRS can potentially garnish that money to pay for any back taxes you owe.
They also report that some banks, at their own discretion, are using customers direct deposit stimulus funds to pay off overdraft fees. This is resulting in draining customer accounts before consumers have a chance to access their money. Further, although only the state and government have the right to seize a refund to pay a debt, CNET states that private creditors can access any account with a court order.
What Can I Do If I Have Not Received My Eip Money By Those Deadlines
If you have not received all or some portion of your Economic Impact Payments by the deadlines above, you will have to file a 2020 tax return and claim these amounts. You claim them on line 30 of the 2020 Form 1040 as a “Recovery Rebate Credit“. This is another name for the EIP stimulus payments. If you did not get all or a portion of the EIP payments in advance, then you can claim them on line 30 of your tax return for 2020.
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What About People With Itins
You still need a work-authorizing Social Security Number to be eligible for this stimulus. However, there are important changes since the first round of stimulus checks.
- In the first stimulus rollout, any non-SSN holder on a joint return made everyone on that return ineligible. Big change: The new rounds of stimulus has corrected this problem. If you filed a joint return with a non-SSN holder, you are still eligible for the stimulus. See the below hypotheticals.
- Situation: A single tax filer has an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number but no Social Security number .
- This person is ineligible for the stimulus.
Child Or Dependent Qualification For The $500 Payment
Several readers have asked questions around the $500 child dependent additional stimulus payment. To get this payment you must have filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return and claimed the child as dependent ANDthe child must be younger than 17-years-old at the end of 2020. They must also be related to you by blood, marriage, or adoption . There is no limit to the number of dependents who can qualify for the additional $500 in one household.
This age limit is much younger than what is used by the IRS in the qualifying child test where a child must be younger than 19 years old or be a student younger than 24 years old as of the end of the calendar year. Hence the confusion being caused by this. So just remember if your child or eligible dependent is 17 or over you cannot claim the stimulus payment for them.
College Kids and High School Seniors
The younger than 17 yr old requirement has ruled out several thousand college students and high school kids who are older than 17, but still being claimed as a dependent by their parents on their federal tax return.
However if you are a college student AND filed a recent tax return you can qualify for a standard/adult stimulus check per the above eligibility rules. But note as soon as you file a return you cannot be claimed as a dependent by others, which means they lose certain other tax benefits and credits.
Read Also: When Will The Second Stimulus Check Be Released
If I Owe Child Support Will I Be Notified That My Tax Return Is Going To Be Applied To My Child Support Arrears
Yes.You were sent a noticewhenyour case wasinitiallysubmitted for federal tax refund offset.The federal government shouldsend an offset notice toyouwhenyour stimulus rebate paymenthasactuallybeenintercepted. The noticewill tell youthatyourtax returnhas been applied toyour child support debtand to contactthe Child Support Divisionifyoubelieve this was done in error.
How Will The Stimulus Check Payments Be Made By The Irs
The IRS has confirmed that payments for most working Americans are expected to be calculated and deposited or mailed via check based on 2018 or 2019 federal tax filing payment details. Most people wont need to take any action and the IRS will calculate and automatically send the economic stimulus payment to those eligible. The Treasury department, under which the IRS falls has also created a website/portal for those who are not required to file U.S. income taxes or who have to change payment information .
For those who have not yet filed their return for 2019, the IRS will use information from their 2018 tax filing to calculate the payment. The economic impact payment will be deposited directly into the same banking account reflected on the last valid return filed. So if your 2018 information is out of date or your income situation changed in 2019, make sure you file, even if you have no taxes due .
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Can The Government Take My Stimulus Check For Back Child Support
A third round of stimulus checks went out to the American people in early March. Some have already seen the funds direct deposited into their accounts. Others have not received their payments yet, and are wondering why. Those who owe debts like child support or student loans may be worried that their stimulus payment will be garnished.
Following are some frequently asked questions and answers about stimulus check number three.
Landlords And Nursing Homes Can’t Demand You To Use Your Stimulus Check Money To Pay Them
The CARES Act prevented landlords from demanding you give them your stimulus check to make a rent payment. Nursing homes and care facilities also cannot ask you to hand over your stimulus check money to meet a payment, according to the IRS. The second stimulus check followed the same rules. If someone pressures you or threatens you with eviction in exchange for your payment, make sure that you know your rights in regard to stimulus checks and to the eviction moratorium that lasts through March 31.
These rules generally hold for the third payment as well. However, if a private creditor or debt collector obtained a judgement against you, they could garnish your payment, according to Watson.
Recommended Reading: Where To Check For My Stimulus Check
Could My Stimulus Check Get Garnished For Child Support
The third round of stimulus checks from the federal government is here. Many Americans have already received their $1,400 checks, and many more will receive the deposit over the next several weeks. As relieving as it is to finally get the financial support youve long awaited, dont forget about your past-due child support payments.
If you think your third stimulus payment is untouchable, think again.
Unlike the second stimulus check, the third stimulus check could be garnished to pay off certain debts. Luckily, those debts DO NOT include late child support payments, meaning your third check cannot be garnished to pay child support. While many people know that past due child support will not take their third stimulus check, what they may not know is a process called budget reconciliation currently allows garnishment for other debts.
Budget reconciliation was introduced and passed under the bill authorizing the third payout. This process was included in the legislation to expedite the approval process because it required fewer votes, but as a result, the third stimulus checks are currently NOT protected from all garnishments. For context, garnishment helps pay 3 types of unpaid debt, which include:
- Unpaid IRS tax debt
- Government debt
- Private debt
How The Third Covid
In response to the devastating effects the COVID-19 pandemic had on the American economy, Senate passed a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill on Saturday, March 6, 2021. The legislation includes $1400 stimulus checks. Individuals earning less than $75,000 a year and married couples earning less than $150,000 will receive $1400 per person, including children. The package is not set to provide relief for individuals who earn more than $80,000 or married couples who earn more than $160,000 regardless of how many children they have, so if you make more than that amount, the details of the third stimulus check will not affect you.
However, individuals who owe child support and those who are divorced might be wondering what the stimulus check will look like for them. After all, in many cases, federal and state law requires that a parents legal child support obligation be automatically deducted from their paycheck through garnishment. One parent in the case will often get a wage garnishment order from the court if the other parent avoids paying child support.
In Alabama, up to 50% of your disposable earnings can be garnished to pay child support if you are supporting a spouse or child. If you are not supporting a spouse or child, up to 60% of your earnings can be taken, and an additional 5% can be taken if youre more than 12 weeks behind in payments.
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