What you need to know about stimulus payments
WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department announced Wednesday the departments will begin delivering a second round of Economic Impact Payments as part of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 to Americans who received the first round of payments earlier this year.
The payments, $600 per individual, were approved by Congress and signed into law last week. Congress has been debating an additional payment this week.
According to the IRS, there is no action required to receive the payment. Similar to an earlier stimulus package, payments will be made via direct deposit.
Some Americans may see the direct deposit payments as pending or as provisional payments in their accounts before the official payment date of Jan. 4. The payments are automatic.
Eligible individuals who did not receive an Economic Impact Payment this year — either the first or the second payment — will be able to claim it when they file their 2020 taxes in 2021.
Authorized by the newly enacted COVID-relief legislation, the second round of payments, or “EIP 2,” is generally $600 for singles and $1,200 for married couples filing a joint return. In addition, those with qualifying children will also receive $600 for each qualifying child. Dependents who are 17 and older are not eligible for the child payment.
Who is eligible for the second Economic Impact Payment?
Generally, U.S. citizens and resident aliens who are not eligible to be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s income tax return are eligible. Eligible individuals will automatically receive an Economic Impact Payment of up to $600 for individuals or $1,200 for married couples and up to $600 for each qualifying child. Generally, anyone with an adjusted gross income for 2019 up to $75,000 for individuals, and up to $150,000 for married couples filing joint returns and surviving spouses,will receive the full amount of the payment. For filers with income above those amounts, the payment amount is reduced.
How do I find out if the IRS is sending me a payment?
People can check the status of both their first and second payments by using the Get My Payment tool on IRS.gov. The tool is being updated with new information, and the IRS anticipates the tool will be available again in a few days for taxpayers.
How will the IRS know where to send my payment? What if I changed bank accounts?
The IRS will use the data already in our systems to send the new payments. Taxpayers with direct deposit information on file will receive the payment that way. For those without current direct deposit information on file, they will receive the payment as a check or debit card in the mail. For those eligible but who don’t receive the payment for any reason, it can be claimed by filing a 2020 tax return in 2021. The Economic Impact Payments are an advance payment of what will be called the Recovery Rebate Credit on the 2020 Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR.
Will people receive a paper check or a debit card?
For those who don’t receive a direct deposit by early January, they should watch their mail for either a paper check or a debit card. To speed delivery of the payments to reach as many people as soon as possible, the Bureau of the Fiscal Service, part of the Treasury Department, will be sending a limited number of payments out by debit card. Some people who received a paper check last time might receive a debit card this time, and some people who received a debit card last time may receive a paper check.
IRS and Treasury urge eligible people who don’t receive a direct deposit to watch their mail carefully during this period for a check or an Economic Impact Payment card, which is sponsored by the Treasury Department’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service and is issued by Treasury’s financial agent, MetaBank, N.A. The Economic Impact Payment Card will be sent in a white envelope that prominently displays the U.S. Department of the Treasury seal.
Is any action needed by Social Security beneficiaries, railroad retirees and those receiving veterans’ benefits who are not typically required to file a tax return?
Most Social Security retirement and disability beneficiaries, railroad retirees and those receiving veterans’ benefits do not need take any action to receive a payment. Earlier this year, the IRS worked directly with the relevant federal agencies to obtain the information needed to send out the new payments the same way benefits for this group are normally paid. For eligible people in this group who didn’t receive a payment for any reason, they can file a 2020 tax return.
Will I receive anything for my tax records showing I received a second Economic Impact Payment?
Yes. People will receive an IRS notice, or letter, after they receive a payment telling them the amount of their payment. They should keep this for their tax records.