Stimulus checks on the way


By Josh Ellerbrock - jellerbrock@limanews.com



More information on the economic impact payment program, including the link for non-filers, can be found at https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payments

LIMA — While many are waiting for their $1,200 stimulus checks, the Internal Revenue Service is assuring that payments are currently being made over the next few days.

The federal agency began direct-depositing payments into bank accounts this past Saturday, April 11, and the effort will continue throughout the next week.

Mailed checks, however, will begin to go out starting April 24.

For those with questions about the program, here is quick review.

Am I eligible for the program?

That depends. Most Americans with valid social security numbers will be receiving a payment, but there are a few caveats attached to the program.

First, dependents over the age of 16-years-old will not receive any funds, which means that many students as well as some disabled and elderly filing as dependents with the IRS will not get a check.

The program also has an upper limit that restricts high-earning individuals from getting access to stimulus dollars. Payments will not go to individuals earning more than $99,000, head of households that earn more than $136,500 or joint filers that report earning more than $198,000.

Similarly, those that earn more than $75,000 won’t see the total $1,200.

The IRS provides the following breakdown on its website.

“Taxpayers will receive a reduced payment if their (adjusted gross income) is between: $75,000 and $99,000 if their filing status was single or married filing separately, $112,500 and $136,500 for head of household, $150,000 and $198,000 if their filing status was married filing jointly.”

Everyone else should receive a payment. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said that most of the 145 million Americans who qualify for the stimulus checks should get them by April 17.

How quickly will I get my stimulus check?

That depends on what information the IRS already has on file. Those who have already provided direct deposit information to the IRS through either a 2018 or 2019 tax filing or through social security won’t have to do much to get the federal payment quickly. For such individuals, the funds should eventually be dumped into their bank accounts relatively soon.

Similarly, those who receive railroad retirement benefits should also find the dollars in their accounts in the next few days.

The remaining population that qualifies for the program, however, will need to take a few extra steps ensure access to funds. Non-filers — those whose gross income did not exceed $12,200, or married couples who made less than $24,400 in 2019 — will need to jump onto the IRS website to provide payment info.

Such individuals can do so at https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/non-filers-enter-payment-info-here (which also largely spells out what information non-filers need to do to receive funds).

I haven’t received my stimulus check yet, I qualify and I’ve followed all the proper procedures. What should I do?

For right now, give it a week or so.

If individuals have yet to see any funds by the end of the week, they will be able to check online to figure out the hold up. The IRS recently announced the intended launch of a new website, expected to be available Friday, April 17, that will allow Americans to check up on the progress of the stimulus check if they haven’t yet received one.

Such a website will especially be useful for tax filers who have yet to provide direct deposit information through a tax filing to the IRS. It is estimated that roughly two in 10 Americans have yet to do so, and the extra steps required to send checks through the mail will slow down the payment process for such tax filers.

Mailed checks are expected to be sent out starting April 24 with the lowest earners — those who reported less than $10,000 gross income — prioritized to receive them first.

Every following week, a new wave of 5 million checks are expected to be sent out.

How do I know that I’m not being scammed?

The IRS does have plans to mail letters to taxpayer’s last known address 15 days after the federal agency makes the payment. The letters will include info letting taxpayers track how the the payment was made and the steps that individuals need to take in case they didn’t receive the expected payment.

Relatedly, the IRS is warning individuals that anyone reaching out to ask for personal or bank account information related to the economic impact payment program may be a scam artist.

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By Josh Ellerbrock

jellerbrock@limanews.com

More information on the economic impact payment program, including the link for non-filers, can be found at https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payments

Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.

Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.

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