Your Stimulus Check Eligibility Could Depend On Your Taxes
If you’re right on the cusp of the income limits described below, when you file your taxes could make the difference between qualifying for a partial check or not. That’s because a third stimulus check is now arriving during tax season.
The language in the stimulus bill makes it clear that the IRS will base your next stimulus check on your 2019 or 2020 taxes, whichever is on file when it processes your payment. However, the IRS is reportedly delayed in processing new tax returns. If you made more in 2020 than in 2019, time is on your side. The new tax deadline is May 17. If you need more time, you might want to request a tax extension.
At this point of the stimulus check delivery cycle, filing taxes sooner may not be to your advantage. The IRS is prioritizing stimulus check distribution over tax returns, and when the processing happens is outside your control.
If you did already receive your third stimulus check and it was based on your 2019 taxes but you qualified for more with your 2020 return, the IRS will be sending “plus-up payments” to correct the amount between now and Dec. 31, 2021. If you don’t receive your catch-up payment by then, you’ll need to claim it on your taxes next spring.
Why Am I Getting Payment Status Not Available For My Covid
The Get My Payment application will return “Payment Status Not Available” if:
- We havent yet processed your Economic Impact Payment
- We dont have enough information to issue you a payment or
- You arent eligible for a payment.
The IRS will continue to issue the Third Economic Impact Payments throughout 2021. Please check the Get My Payment tool for updates on your payment status.
Still Don’t Have A Stimulus Check Here’s How To Track Yours
May 12, 2021 / 3:35 PM / MoneyWatch
While major banks in the U.S. started delivering $1,400 stimulus checks in March, the federal relief payments continue to arrive at millions of households struggling to make ends meet amid the coronavirus-hobbled economy.
The Internal Revenue Service has delivered more than 165 million payments, with a total value of approximately $388 billion, the agency said Wednesday. The latest round includes 1 million payments, with the IRS noting they have an official payment date of May 12. That means the most recent recipients will receive a direct deposit on Wednesday, or soon get a paper check or pre-paid debit card in the mail.
The timing and delivery of checks has been a cause of anxiety for some people, especially for those who receive government benefits such as Social Security and don’t typically file taxes. The IRS prioritized sending checks to people who have already filed their 2019 or 2020 tax returns, since the agency was able to quickly verify eligibility based on income and also determine where to mail or direct deposit the checks.
The agency said it’s sending another 500,000 payments to eligible people who recently filed a tax return but for whom it didn’t previously have information to issue a stimulus check.
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Stimulus Checks Arent Distributed At The Same Time
Stimulus checks arent distributed all at once. That means your neighbor, cousin or sister may get a stimulus check before you. If you have a bank account on file with the IRS, youre likely to get your stimulus check faster through direct deposit. However, if you dont, then it may take longer to get a paper stimulus check or debit card. Like the first and second stimulus checks, the third stimulus check will be sent in batches over time. If you get Social Security benefits, you also may not have received a stimulus check yet. Why? Until this week, the U.S. Social Security Administration didnt share contact information for 30 million Social Security recipients with the IRS, which has delayed the disbursement of their stimulus checks.
When Will I Get The Payment And What Can I Do If I Dont Get It
The IRS is sending the third round of payments out to American families, but we are not sure how long this will take. We believe the IRS will continue to send the third round of payments until December 2021. Because this third round of stimulus is actually an advance payment of a tax credit for tax year 2021, you should be able to claim this credit on your 2021 tax return if you do not get it by the end of 2021.
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Contact Your Bank Or Tax Rep
If all else fails, you can correct your personal information with your bank or tax representative and have them ensure the IRS did indeed send the payments to the correct account.
Contact your bank or tax preparer to find out if there was any attempt to get those payments sent to you through direct deposit or a prepaid direct card.
Likewise, double and triple check all information you have filled out to make sure it’s correct, and as a last case scenario, contact the IRS and United States Postal Service to ensure they too have your correct information on file.
Check The Status Of Your Third Economic Impact Payment
All Third Economic Impact Payments must be issued by Dec. 31, 2021 in accordance with the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, signed into law on March 11, 2021.
The IRS mailed Notice 1444-C to people who received a third Economic Impact Payment. You should keep this letter with your tax year 2021 records.
Check when and how your payment was sent with the Get My Payment tool.
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Why Am I Being Mailed A Direct Deposit For My Stimulus Check Payment
Your payment may have been sent by mail because the bank rejected the deposit. This could happen because the bank information was invalid or the bank account has been closed.
Note: You cant change your bank information already on file with the IRS for your first or second Economic Impact Payment. Dont call the IRS, our phone assistors wont be able to change your bank information, either.
Second Stimulus Checks & Us Expats: What You Should Know
Q. What was the second stimulus check?
A. The second stimulus check was part of a December 2020 government relief package to provide financial relief to Americans during the pandemic. The relief package included $600 direct payments to each person with a Social Security Number who cannot be claimed as a dependent and earned under a certain amount of income. It also included up to $600 payments for each qualifying child under age 17.
Q. Did I get a second stimulus check if Im an American living overseas?
A. Yes, expats qualified for the second stimulus check. You qualified if you fall within the income threshold, have a social security number, and file taxes even if you live overseas.
Q. Did I need to sign up for it or sign off on it?
A. Most people didnt need to do anything to receive the second stimulus because the IRS based the payments off of 2019 tax returns. If you didnt file a 2019 return, you may be able to claim it on your 2020 tax return as a Recovery Rebate Credit.
Q. If I live abroad, when should I have gotten my second stimulus check if I qualified?
A. All of the second stimulus payments have gone out. Most people got a direct deposit.
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You’re Waiting For The Rest Of Your Third Stimulus Check Money
The problem: You received a stimulus check, but the math doesn’t seem to work out. Are you missing money? It might be that the IRS owes you more money based on your 2020 tax return but paid you based on 2019 or the latest information it had. Maybe the agency didn’t know about a new dependent, or there was a calculation error.
What to do: Use our stimulus calculator to estimate how much money you might be owed. The IRS tracking tool doesn’t provide that level of information, but the letter the IRS sends you does. The IRS said it’s making supplemental payments to people who’ve received payments based on their 2019 tax returns but are eligible for a new or larger payment based on their recently processed 2020 tax returns. These “plus-up” payments could include a situation where a person’s income dropped in 2020 compared with 2019, or a person had a new child or dependent on their 2020 tax return, and other situations, the IRS said.
What next? First, keep the IRS letter for your tax records. You’ll need it later. Next, if there’s a difference between the amount you think you should get and the total you did get, it might mean you’ll be able to claim more stimulus money in 2021 or 2022. If the IRS thinks it sent you your total, but you didn’t get a check at all, you may need to file for a payment trace.
You Dont Qualify For A Stimulus Check
Like the first stimulus check and second stimulus check, not everyone qualifies for an Economic Impact Payment. Here is the adjusted gross income threshold for the third stimulus check to get the full $1,400 stimulus payment :
Head of Household: $112,500
If your adjusted gross income is higher than these amounts, you wont get any stimulus payment:
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Who Will Not Get A Stimulus Check
- You will not get a check if you can be claimed as a dependent on someone elses tax return.
- You will not get a check if you do not have a valid social security number.
- You will not get a check if you are a “nonresident alien.”
- You will not get a check if you filed a form: 1040-NR, or 1040NR-EZ, 1040-PR, or 1040-SS for 2019.
You Missed The Deadline To Update Your Bank Account Information
This doesnt mean you wont ever get a payment, considering you check all of the other boxes to qualify. But it could explain why its taking much longer to receive the stimulus money youre entitled to.
Stimulus checks will be direct deposited into the bank account listed on 2019 tax returns . If no bank account is listed on either return, the IRS will send a physical check to your most recent address on fileand some experts estimate it could take months for physical checks to make it to households.
The IRS launched an online tool for individuals to update their banking account information, called the Get My Payment tool. However, the deadline for individuals to add their bank account information is Wednesday, May 13 at 12 p.m. ET. If you dont update or add your banking information, your check will be sent to whatever address is on file with the IRS.
By law, the Treasury must send a notice of payment, by mail, to that last known address. The notice will include a phone number at the IRS to contact if you didnt receive the payment. This could be helpful for individuals who live at the same address listed on their last tax return but have new banking information and dont update it in the IRS portal. But if your payment ends up going missingmeaning you no longer have access to whatever address is on file with the IRSheres what you can do.
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I Got A Payment Status Not Available Message
Many checking on their second stimulus check were seeing a message that said “Payment Status #2 – Not Available.” The IRS has indicated that these individuals will not receive a stimulus check by direct deposit or mail and they will have to file their 2020 tax return to claim their “Recovery Rebate Credit.” See below for instructions on claiming the rebate on your tax return.
These messages have now disappeared and will be replaced by information about the third payment.
You Didnt File A Tax Return
If you are required to file a tax return, then income eligibility for the third stimulus check is based off your adjusted gross income from 2019 or 2020. That said, not everyone is required to file a tax return . If you didnt file a tax return in these years or use the IRS Non-Filers tool, then the IRS may not have your income information to determine your eligibility to get a stimulus check.
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Do You Need To File Another Form With The Irs If Your Money Hasnt Arrived
As was the case with the first check, if you filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return or receive government benefits, the IRS should automatically send your second check for $600 without you having to do anything.
If, however, youre a US citizen or permanent resident, had a gross income in 2019 under $12,200 or $24,400 as a married couple and didnt file a return for 2018 or 2019, you may have needed to give the IRS a bit of information before they can process your payment. If you missed the Nov. 21 deadline to use the IRS Non-Filers tool, you would likely have to claim that money on your next tax return in the form of a Recovery Rebate Credit, described above.
As always, be sure to contact a tax professional for advice and answer any questions when filing your return.
How Do I Get Help Filing A 2020 Tax Return To Claim My Eip
The IRS recommends electronic filing, and we agree. It is a faster, more secure option. Paper forms will take much longer to be processed by IRS. You may qualify for free e-file software.
You can also call the Vermont 2-1-1 hotline and follow the menu options for tax preparation. Through this service you may be able to schedule an appointment with a free Volunteer Income Tax Preparation Assistance site. These sites are staffed by trained volunteers. They provide free preparation services to taxpayers who meet eligibility requirements.
Also, you can find Form 1040 and Form 1040 instructions on the IRS website. The instructions for the “Recovery Rebate Credit” are found on pages 57 – 59.
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Why Did I Receive A Debit Card
The IRS issued millions of debit cards to taxpayers in lieu of second stimulus checks, but will be sending out fewer debit cards out for the third payment. The prepaid Visa debit cards, issued by MetaBank, are called Economic Impact Payment cards. Your EIP card will arrive in a white envelope with “Economic Impact Payment Card” in the return address. You’ll need to activate the card by calling the phone number that comes with the card and choosing a 4-digit PIN number.
You can use your EIP card for purchases or use it to withdraw cash . You can also transfer the funds from your EIP card directly into your own bank account, after you register for online access.
If you use the card wisely, it will be free, but there are some fees to be aware of. If you use an out-of-network ATM or a bank teller to withdraw cash, you may need to pay a fee, and if you check the balance of the debit card, at either an in-network ATM or an out-of-network ATM, you will be charged a small fee.
The IRS has announced that the vast majority of taxpayers should receive their third stimulus payment by direct deposit this time.
What If Dont Normally File A Tax Return
The IRS said this third round of stimulus will be based on tax year 2019 or 2020 information, or information obtained by the Social Security Administration and Veterans Affairs Administration. If you are a non-filer who also does not receive a SSA or VA benefit, then use the Non-filer Sign-up tool, described below.
The IRS recently launched a new Non-filer Sign-up tool on its website. Although this non-filer portal is labeled as for non-filers claiming advance payments of the child tax credit, it is also available for others, including single individuals and people experiencing homelessness. It will allow individuals to provide their information to the IRS so that they can receive any of the three Economic Impact Payments , also known as stimulus payments, that they may be missing. If an individual did not get the full amounts of the EIPs, they may use this tool if they:
- Are not required to file a 2020 tax return, didnt file a 2020 tax return, and dont plan to, and
- Want to claim the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit and get their third EIP.
The new Non-filer Sign-up tool is for people who did not file a tax return for 2019 or 2020, and who did not use the IRS Non-filers tool last year to register for Economic Impact Payments.
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How To Report A Missing Stimulus Check To The Irs
You may still have questions, especially if you havent received a check, or you get the dreaded payment status unavailable notice. To report missing checks or ask other questions, call the IRS at 800-919-9835.
The IRS added 3,500 telephone representatives in May, but dont be surprised if you dont get through immediately. A lot of people have questions. You can go online to find answers to frequently asked questions about Economic Impact Payments and the Get My Payment tool.
One question a lot of people have is whether the stimulus money will affect their 2020 taxes. It wont. It is not considered taxable income, so it wont increase what you owe or reduce your refund when you file next year.
Another question the IRS cant answer: Is a second stimulus check on the way? Possibly. Senate Republicans rejected the plan passed by House Democrats but have said they are drawing up a plan of their own, perhaps to be finished in late July. Stay tuned.