Maximizing Your Stimulus Payment
If youre expecting to receive a paper check, avoid paying fees* on your money by depositing it for free into a Sesame Cash account. Sesame Cash is a no-fee bank account that helps you keep more of your money for things that matter most.
While the fastest way to receive stimulus payments is through direct deposit, if you havent already updated this information with the IRS, it may be too late for this stimulus around. You can update this information when you file your taxes to have future stimulus payments and government benefits automatically deposited into your Sesame Cash account up to two days early! No more waiting for a check!
For recommendations on how to spend your stimulus payment to help maximize the funds, read our guide.
Change In Income Can Affect How Much Stimulus Money You Receive
Many Americans lost their jobs or had their hours reduced dramatically, which is likely going to impact their total income for tax year 2020. This is noteworthy because your 2019 tax return may not be reflective of your current income status. For example, someone may have made $125,000 during tax year 2019, but suddenly lost their job in early April 2020 causing their total income for 2020 to take a nosedive. Unfortunately, if the IRS uses the 2019 tax return, this individual might be disqualified from receiving a COVID-19 stimulus check or will receive a greatly reduced amount. If you find yourself in this situation, make sure to file your 2020 tax return and pursue a stimulus payment rebate in 2021.
How A Life Change Affects Your Stimulus Check/payment Eligibility
With the third stimulus check dispersal under way, millions have already received their third stimulus payments. But the more Americans get their checks, the more questions arise specifically about how life changes affect your stimulus payment.
The first, second and now third economic impact payment or stimulus payments can be paid in advance. Your eligibility and amount is based off your most recently filed tax return but what if that information is incorrect?
For example, what if you havent filed taxes yet but got married in July 2020? Or had a baby? What if youre dealing with the aftermath of a divorce or the recent death of a loved one? What if you already received your first and second stimulus checks, but it was for the wrong amount? What if you graduated from college in 2020 and arent a dependent anymore?
For the first and second stimulus payments, if your situation changed, youll claim the rest youre owed through the Recovery Rebate credit on your 2020 return. For the third , youll wait to claim the credit on your 2021 tax return.
The IRS understood the need to get stimulus payments out quickly. As a result, some taxpayers have found differences in the amount they should have received due to tax filing changes and income changes.
Below, well clear things up about who is eligible for a stimulus checks, payment, and the credit and how life changes affect your eligibility.
Don’t Miss: When Should I Expect My Third Stimulus Check
What You Can Do If Youre Not Eligible For Stimulus Payment
The CARES Act extends your states unemployment by 13 weeks, through Dec. 31, 2020. The federal government also implemented the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program, which gives individuals an additional $600 per week for up to four months to their unemployment insurance.
The CARES Act extends unemployment insurance benefits to the self-employed and independent contractors who usually dont qualify for assistance. It also extends benefits to anyone who couldnt work because of the pandemic. That includes those who were laid off, became ill, or had to care for someone else with the virus.
You can also get help paying certain loans. If you have a federally-backed mortgage, you can request forbearance if you cant pay because of the pandemic. If the bank approves, you wont have to pay the mortgage for 180 days.
The bank cant impose any penalties or other fees during this time.
This can be extended an additional 180 days. Banks must also halt foreclosure proceedings for 60 days after March 18, 2020. Contact your lender to request forbearance.
If you have a federal student loan owned by the Department of Education, you can request to delay payments until Sept. 30, 2020. All federally-owned student loans will automatically have a 0% interest rate until then. Contact your federal student loan servicer to request forbearance. If you have student loans through a private lender, contact the lender to see if there are any relief options available.
You Filed 2019 Taxes Through Tax Preparation Software
If you filed your 2019 taxes using tax preparation software and opted to pay for the service out of your expected refund, you might have to wait for your check. That’s because when you allowed the company to take their cut from your refund, they created a temporary bank account to receive the money. Once they were paid, they passed the remainder on to you. At the time, the process seemed seamless, and if COVID-19 had never come along, no one would be worried about how payment for the service was processed. The problem is this: Since the IRS sent your 2019 tax refund to the company, that’s the address they have for you on file.
Also Check: Fourth Stimulus Checks Tax Return Irs
Myth: The $1400 Stimulus Is Based On Your 2019 Salary
The facts: The IRS is basing the size of your stimulus check on the information provided in your 2019 tax return or your 2020 one if you’ve already filed this season.
The data point it’s using is adjusted gross income, or AGI. AGI isn’t your salary. It’s your wages plus capital gains and such, minus expenses like student loan interest and retirement contributions. If you’re curious, you can use a calculator to determine your AGI.
Q: We Did Not Receive Stimulus The First Time For Our 15
First, go back and check the dependent information on your 2019 tax return. The IRS is working from that document. Make sure your 15-year-old is listed as a dependent. If so, then call the IRS.
If you are due the money, you can always get credit through the IRS Rebate Recovery program, meaning your tax refund will be higher or you wont owe as much.
Don’t Miss: When Does The Next Stimulus Check Come In
People Who Owe Child Support
Stimulus money is generally not subject to reduction or offset to pay back taxes or other debts owed to the federal or a state government. However, if you owe child support, the IRS can use stimulus check money to pay arrears. If your child support debt is greater than your stimulus check amount, you could end up missing out on a stimulus payment entirely.
How To Know If You Qualify
Those who are eligible will automatically receive a stimulus payment from the IRS:
- Tax filers with adjusted gross income up to $75,000 for individuals and up to $60,000 for married couples filing joint returns will receive the full payment.
- If youre single, you could receive up to $1400.
- Single filers with income exceeding $80,000 will likely not receive a check.
- You could see your payment in a matter of days.
If you need more information , please visit the IRS website.
Read Also: Irs Get My Stimulus Payment
Q: In This Round 2 I Have Received My $600 Payment But Once Again Nothing For The Children Do I Have To Register Or Re
It goes back to your 2019 Tax return. Were the children claimed by you as dependents? If so, and if they are under 17, then you should be receiving stimulus money for them. If not, then you will have to take it up with the IRS. Have your social security number ready so that when you get somebody on the phone you have everything you need in front of you. Some circumstances are unique and might require the use of a paid tax professional.
Myth: Debt Collectors Can’t Take Your Third Stimulus Check
The facts: When the first round of stimulus checks went out last year, many people in debt, on the hook for child support or behind on bank fees worried that their EIPs would be seized to cover them. After some states stepped in to prevent this, the federal government specifically shielded the second, $600 stimulus check from garnishment.
Due to the way the American Rescue Plan was passed, the $1,400 checks don’t have that protection built in. Several consumer groups have demanded Congress rectify this by passing stand-alone legislation, writing in a letter that allowing the payments to be garnished “could impose significant burdens on some families, especially those in communities of color, facing unprecedented circumstances.” But no dice so far.
Read Also: When Should Stimulus Check Arrive
People Without A Social Security Number
Generally, you must have a Social Security number to get a stimulus check. To get the extra $1,400 for a dependent, the dependent must also have a Social Security number. If they don’t, then you probably won’t get the addition amount.
There are, however, a few exceptions to this rule. First, an adopted child can have an adoption taxpayer identification number instead of a Social Security number. Second, for married members of the U.S. armed forces, only one spouse needs to have a Social Security number. And, third, if your spouse doesn’t have a Social Security number, you can still receive a third stimulus check, including any extra money for dependents, if you have a Social Security number.
Will The Next Stimulus Check Be Direct Deposit
Additional batches of payments will be sent in the coming weeks by direct deposit and through the mail as a check or debit card. The vast majority of these payments will be by direct deposit. 3
Don’t Miss: Will There Be 4th Stimulus Check
Special Cases For Parents Or Couples Recently Estranged
Its important to check if you fall into one of the following special cases who wont receive a payment. These include some parents and married couples who were recently separated.
- Parents who owe back child support may have their payment garnished.
- Trusts set up for children or dependents wont receive a stimulus payment.
- Some parents who arent married and split custody of their children may take turns claiming them on their taxes. Only the parent who claimed the child as a dependent on their taxes is eligible for the $500 stimulus payment.
- The payment adds another tension to those who were recently divorced or estranged. The $2,400 will be deposited into whichever bank account was associated with the most recent tax return. The non-filing partner must contact the filing partner to ask for their share.
Dont Forget The Free Stuff
Even though there are many things you can purchase with your COVID-19 bailout check, dont forget to take advantage of the free things too!
Many law schools have test preparation companies come in and provide sample lessons some of these might be online. Additionally, some law schools have mandatory or optional skills labs and bar success programs aimed at increasing passage rates. You can check with your law school and see if any of these options are available.
The National Conference of Bar Examiners releases retired bar exam test questions and samples of MBE questions that you can review. Kaplan offers a free MPRE course.
Khan Academy offers a free LSAT preparation course. You can also check your undergraduate school, law school and local public library for study guides through the virtual portal, if available.
You can also check out our guide on how to study for the bar exam on a budget to help you make your stimulus check dollars stretch further.
Recommended Reading: How Will I Get My Stimulus
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.
Stay In the Know:
Eligibility Requirements To Receive A Coronavirus Relief Stimulus Check
As mentioned earlier, recipients of disability benefits are not excluded from receiving the stimulus checks, but there are specific requirements that must be met in order to qualify for these funds. First, you must have a valid Social Security number. Second, you must not be claimed as a dependent on another individuals tax return. Third, you cannot be incarcerated. Fourth, your income will dictate how much you receive. For example, only individuals making less than $75,000 are eligible to receive the full $600. The government typically uses recent tax filings to determine an individuals income in most cases.
Recommended Reading: How To Check Status Of Stimulus Check 2
How Much Will We Get For The Third Stimulus Check
Calculating Your Third Stimulus Check Amount
Under the American Rescue Plan, every eligible person will receive a $1,400 third stimulus checkbase amount. For married couples that file a joint tax return, the base amount is $2,800. Then, for each dependent in your family, an additional $1,400 will be tacked on. 3
Q: If I Didn’t File Taxes Because I Was Underpaid In 2020 Will I Still Get The Stimulus Check In 2021
Most of us havent filed takes for 2020 unless you were paying the IRS quarterly. The IRS uses the most recent data, and for the bulk of the tax paying population, they will be using your 2019 tax return. If you didnt file in 2019, they will use the most recent data they have from you which would be 2018.
Read Also: Stimulus Check How To Apply
Q: If I Owe Child Support Will My Stimulus Be Put On Hold Or Not Given To Me At All
This time around, no. Parents who owe child support will not have any or all of their stimulus garnished or taken away this time around. That was the way it was the first time around, but that’s not going to be the case for this round of stimulus.
This new bill does not allow a bank, a state, or a credit agency to collect stimulus for any debt like child support or rent.
How Can You Check Your Stimulus Check Status
The Get My Payment tool on the IRS.gov website went live on Saturday and can help track your payment and check the status of your money.
The website notes the tool is updated once per day, usually overnight, so there’s no need to check multiple times per day.
The “Get My Payment” tool will tell you:
- Payment date
- Payment method Note: mail means you may be issued an EIP card or a check
If your payment status is not available, that means the IRS has not yet processed your payment, or you are not eligible for a payment.
If you get a message that says “Need More Information,” that means your payment was returned to the IRS because the post office was unable to deliver it. The IRS said people who got this message will eventually be able to use the tool to provide additional bank account information.
You May Like: Who’s Eligible For Stimulus
Stimulus Check Qualifications: Find Out If You’re Eligible For $1400 Or More
The rules aren’t the same for who qualifies for a third stimulus check this time around. Here’s how to find out if you’re eligible to receive the $1,400 payment.
Stimulus check requirements for the third round are more generous and stringent at the same time. We’ll explain.
The third stimulus checks are hitting the 130 million mark by direct deposit and as paper checks and EIP cards. A third wave of checks is ramping up for this weekend and next week. If your check for up to $1,400 per household member hasn’t come yet, it’s a good idea to triple-check your eligibility. If you do, here’s how to track your payment and what to do if there’s a problem with your check.
The requirements for the third payment have changed significantly from the first and second checks. For example, there are new income limits and rules for age, citizenship and tax status that can affect the size of your payment. We’ll walk you through what those qualifications are to help you determine whether you should expect a check — or whether you’ll be completely left out.
Additionally, here’s how to claim any missing stimulus money or file a payment trace if you need to. We’ll also explain some other, less common scenarios, with details for nonfilers, people with babies born in 2020 and families in child support situations. This story was updated recently.
If You Have Kids In School
$178 billion is earmarked so that in-person learning can resume.
From elementary education through colleges and universities, funds will go toward upgrading ventilation systems, reducing class sizes, and other measures so that kids and teachers can get safely back in the classrooms. In addition, 20% of the money goes toward learning loss efforts to make up for the ground some students lost by being out of the classroom for a year or more.
Also Check: I Still Haven’t Received My Third Stimulus Check