The IRS’s website currently does not have information available regarding how the stimulus checks will be distributed. I will make updates as more information is made available to us.
Who is eligible for a stimulus payment
- Single taxpayers who have an adjusted gross income of $75,000 or less
- Head of household who earns $112,500 or less
- Married taxpayers who earn $150,000 or less
- The credit is $1,200 per adult, and 500 per child
As income increases over these thresholds, the amount of credit received will diminish.
I didn’t file a 2019 tax return
You should be okay. If the IRS doesn’t have 2019 on file, they will base it on the 2018 return.
Who should consider filing a 2019 return
There are some instances where it may be in your best interest to file a 2019 return.
- Your income was abnormally high in 2018. Maybe you unloaded stocks, sold property, or cashed in retirement to buy a house. If your income was over the threshold you won’t receive a payment.
- You don’t normally file a tax return. This doesn’t apply to people receiving veterans benefits or social security. There are some taxpayers who don’t file a return. Maybe you graduated college and didn’t have income yet. The way I’m reading it, you won’t get a stimulus payment if they don’t have a return on record.
- You closed your bank account that was used on your 2018 return. So far they’re saying if you provided direct deposit information on your return the stimulus payment will go into that account. When a direct deposit is rejected the IRS cuts a check and mails it to you. This usually takes months.
- You moved after 2018 and didn’t have direct deposit. If the IRS mails a check to the wrong address a couple of things could happen. It might get forwarded if you still have a forward on your mail (might want to renew that if your in this situation). The check might also get returned. Again, there will probably be a lengthy process to have it reissued.
I’m currently prioritizing any clients who meet the above criteria. This process will probably change as the IRS provides more information.
What if I was underpaid or overpaid?
So far if your advance payment is LESS than what you’re owed when you compute your 2020 return, you’ll get the excess as a credit on that return. But if your advance credit is GREATER than what you’re actually owed when you file your 2020 return, there currently is no mechanism to 1) repay the excess payment, or 2) recognize the excess amount as income.