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Direct payments

Who is eligible for a payment?

Individuals with adjusted gross income (AGI) up to $75,000, head of household filers with AGI up to $112,500, and married couples with AGI up to $150,000 will receive the full payment.  Above those amounts, payments will be reduced by $5 for every $100 of AGI until the entire payment is phased out.  With certain exceptions (listed below), you must have filed a 2019 or 2018 tax return to receive a payment.  Payments will be provided regardless of employment status. 

What amount will I receive?

The full payment for taxpayers who file individually is $1,200.  The full payment for married couples who file jointly is $2,400.  Filers will receive an additional $500 per dependent under the age of 17.  The total payment amount is subject to the income levels explained in the eligibility section above.  For filers without dependents, the payment completely phases out for individuals with AGI above $99,000 and joint filers with AGI above $198,000.  Filers with dependents will have higher phase out levels, subject to their filing status and the number of eligible dependents they claim. 

How will my income be determined?

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will use 2019 tax returns to determine each filer’s AGI.  The IRS will use 2018 tax returns for taxpayers who have not yet filed 2019 returns.

I am not typically required to file a tax return.  Will I still receive a payment?

The IRS has announced that the following groups of people will automatically receive their individual payment:

  • Recipients of Social Security retirement, disability (SSDI), survivor benefits, or Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Recipients of Veterans Affairs benefits
  • Individuals who receive Railroad Retirement benefits

Any other individual who did not file a 2018 or 2019 return will need to file a simple return through the IRS’ Non-Filers tool to receive their payment.  This tool is available HERE.

What if I am not required to file a tax return, but I have eligible dependents?

Without a tax return, the IRS will be unable to determine if the individuals listed above have any eligible dependents.

While I have asked the Administration to accept this information for an extended period of time, the IRS has stated that this filing must be provided before your payment is processed.  If it is not, you will not receive your money until you file a tax return in 2021.

Unfortunately, this deadline has already passed for Social Security recipients, railroad retirees, and SSI and VA beneficiaries.

How will I receive my payment?

Payments will be automatically deposited directly into the bank account a filer used for their 2019 tax return (or 2018 return if they have not yet filed for 2019).  Individuals who do not have a bank account or did not provide the IRS with any bank account information will receive their check through the mail. 

The status of most payments can be viewed on the IRS’s Get My Payment webpage, which is accessible HERE.  If the payment has not yet been processed, recipients whose bank account information has changed since they filed their relevant tax return can also use this page to update their bank account information.

Individuals who will receive their check through the mail can learn how to update their address HERE.

Will I be taxed on my payment?

No.  The payment is not considered income and is treated like other refundable tax credits, such as the child tax credit and the earned income tax credit (EITC).

The IRS provides more information about these payments HERE.