What Is Needed To Claim A Government Stimulus Check

Unsplash / Colin Watts

Signed into law by President Donald Trump on March 27th, 2020, the CARES Act aims to provide hard-hit Americans with much-needed cash as the economy is halted due to the rampant spread of the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 which causes the disease COVID-19.

According to the Act, this huge economic relief bill will send more than $290 billion in direct payments to both individuals and families across the United States. The goal is to help bolster the economy by keeping people afloat and injecting much-needed cash into the marketplace.

Who Will Receive a Stimulus Check?

According to the bill, most adult Americans will receive a $1,200 check with an additional $500 per dependent child (up to 16 years old.)

They will identify your familial status and income information based on your 2019 or 2018 tax return – whichever has been most recently filed.

Individuals who made $75,000 or less on their most recently filed tax return can expect to receive the full $1,200 check. Those who made more than that will see the amount reduced by $5 per $100 in income on a sliding scale. That means that any individual who made more than $99,000 will not receive a check.

Example: An individual with no dependents, who made $85,000, would only receive a $700 check. 

The scale is similar for married couples filing jointly, but they are set to receive a check for $2,400.The limit is $150,000 in income, with payments depleting at the $198,000 mark for a couple with no dependents.

Example: A married couple with no dependents, who made $165,000, would only receive a $1,650 check. 

If you are a family of four, who makes less than $150,000 per year with both children under the age of 16 – you can expect to receive a $3,400 check.

To find out what your total “Adjusted Gross Income” was for your most recent tax filing look on Form 1040. For 2018 taxes, it will be shown on Line 7, for 2019 it will appear on Line 8b.

How Do You Claim Your Check?

For the vast majority of people, you won’t need to do anything in order to receive a stimulus check.

According to the IRS, the US Treasury will be issuing checks based on your 2018/2019 tax returns. They will send the checks in the same manner in which you received your refund check for the most recent tax return from those two years.

If you filed your 2019 tax return, the government will send the check in the exact same manner you received your refund.

If you have not filed for 2018 or 2019, the IRS urges you to file immediately (if you are obligated to file) in order to receive the economic stimulus payment.

For people with very low income, senior citizens, Social Security recipients, some veterans and disabled individuals who normally do not file tax returns will need to file a Simple Tax Return. 

The IRS will soon issue guidance and instructions for filing a Simple Tax Return. This return just includes the basics like filing status, dependents, and direct deposit information.

The information on how to file this type of Simple Tax Return will be available soon on IRS.gov/Coronavirus – so please keep checking back.

Additionally, if you wish to give the IRS new or updated direct deposit information for where to send your check, they will be launching a new web-based portal to provide the banking information to the IRS.

For more information on the Economic Stimulus Payments, please visit the IRS website.

Watch the two videos below – one from Dr. Jeffrey VanWingen about how to clean your groceries after visiting the supermarket, and another that gives more information on the stimulus checks. 

YouTube video

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