In March, Congress passed and President Trump signed into law the most substantial economic stimulus in history, valued at $2.2 trillion dollars. Named the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, this stimulus package was created to provide $500 billion in loans to relieve struggling businesses, with $350 billion going toward small business loans and $260 billion aimed at enlarging the nation’s unemployment program.
For many Americans, a key aspect of the CARES Act is the stimulus check they’ll receive as part of the federal payout. Approximately 140 million American households can look forward to receiving payment as part of the $300 billion set aside from the stimulus package.
Who Receives a Stimulus Check?
The majority of American taxpayers and senior citizens are eligible to receive a stimulus check or an Economic Impact Payment as it’s formally called. The way the payouts work is:
Individual taxpayers receive $1,200
Married couples who filed jointly receive $2,400
Each qualifying child is an additional payment of $500
That means a married couple with two qualifying children would receive $3,400 for their stimulus check.
What are Disqualifying Factors?
As with everything else, there are some factors that may disqualify you from receiving a stimulus check. College-aged taxpayers and senior citizens claimed as a dependent on their parent’s or caretaker’s most recent federal tax return will not receive a stimulus check. Residents who are not U.S. citizens and don’t have a pathway to citizenship also won’t receive a payment.
Americans whose income is above a certain level are also not eligible to receive a stimulus check. Income amounts deemed too high start at:
$99,000 for single taxpayers
$198,000 for married and jointly filed taxpayers
$136,500 for those who filed as head-of-household
American taxpayers who make slightly less than these amounts may still receive a stimulus check.
Why Haven’t I Received My Stimulus Check Yet?
The first wave of checks was directly deposited into an estimated 80 million Americans’ bank accounts during the week ending April 17. However, for tens of millions of other American workers, they’re still waiting for their stimulus check to arrive months after the initial disbursement. If you’re one of the millions who are still waiting for their economic relief, review the following five reasons to learn why you might still be waiting for your check.
You had your tax refund mailed to you in recent years
The IRS considers your tax return on file for the years 2018 and 2019 when determining how to send your stimulus check and uses the most recent information. The IRS does not automatically have taxpayers’ bank account numbers on hand to deposit Economic Impact Payments directly. That means if you opted to receive your tax refund as a paper check rather than direct deposit, the IRS would not have your bank account number on file. If you did not receive a tax refund and owed money to the IRS, your bank account will also not be available.
Your stimulus check was deposited in an outdated bank account
You may still be waiting for your stimulus check because the IRS deposited it into a bank account that you used in 2018 but is no longer active. According to a survey released by J.D. Powers, approximately 4% of banking customers closed and opened a new bank account in 2018. Four percent may seem insignificant, but it represents millions of Americans.
If the bank account that the IRS has on file for you is now closed, the check will bounce. Luckily, you can update this information directly with the IRS through an online tool called Get My Payment. If you don’t update this information in time, you’ll be waiting on a paper check to be mailed.
You filed a paper tax return rather than filing online
Filing paper tax returns seems like something of the past. However, more taxpayers use this method than you might think. The IRS accepted 155,798,000 federal tax returns in 2018. Out of those, 88.72% were filed electronically. That leaves about 17.6 million Americans who filed a paper tax return.
While this is perfectly acceptable, the challenges that the coronavirus has presented caused the IRS paper return processing centers to be shut down. Everything done in paper form is backed up. That means if you didn’t receive a tax refund through direct deposit and if you mailed your return rather than using eFile – you could be waiting for your paper stimulus check for an indefinite period.
Your stimulus check was deposited into an account created by a tax-preparation service
If you filed your tax return through a tax-preparation service, your tax refund might have been deposited into that company’s bank account before being deposited into your account. Many tax-preparation services do this to withdraw any fees you might owe before sending you the remaining payment.
When a similar situation occurred during the 2008 Great Recession, taxpayers eventually received their stimulus check when the paper checks were printed and mailed out. Taxpayers in 2020 can expect a similar outcome.
You did not earn enough income to receive a stimulus check
Many low-income Americans are not required to file a tax return. After standard deductions, single filing taxpayers who earned $12,200 or less and married couples filing jointly who earned $24,400 or less do not need to file a tax return. Therefore, non-filing taxpayers must take a couple of additional steps to receive their stimulus checks by using an online tool through the IRS. This tool will require you to enter necessary information like their name, date of birth, social security number, and bank account information to receive a payment. If a bank account can’t be provided, a paper check will be sent to the address on file.
Dedicated Tax Debt Attorney in Orange, California
If you’re receiving tax notices from the IRS or know you have a problem with your taxes, it’s critical that you get trusted legal help immediately. Morgan Sebastian Law, PC can help you resolve tax issues. Do not let the IRS collection tactics plague your future lifestyle and well-being.
Contact Morgan Sebastian Law, PC for a consultation to learn what options might be available to you. To schedule a consultation, complete our contact form or call (877) 223-6605.