April 16, 2020
April 16, 2020
Updated 4/27/2020 with new information for people receiving Social Security payments (retirement, disability or survivor benefits), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Veterans Affairs benefits or Railroad Retirement: If you have not filed taxes in the last two years and wish to claim dependents using the IRS portal, you must do so before noon on Tuesday, May 5, 2020.
Federal policymakers passed the $2 trillion federal stimulus legislation to help Americans get by during the COVID-19 crisis and boost the national economy. Lawmakers included a provision to give many Americans a one-time stimulus payment, also called economic impact payments.
Too many Ohioans are uncertain about whether they qualify for a payment and how to get it if they do. This fact sheet is intended to help people, including those who have no or little income, or who have insecure housing, claim their stimulus check. This short guide reflects what we know about this program as of April 16, 2020. Additional information and guidance are in the works.
Your stimulus payment will be based on the adjusted gross income on your most recent tax return, either 2018 or 2019.
People who do not normally file federal taxes because their income does not exceed $12,200 as an individual or $24,400 for a married couple, people receiving TANF, SNAP, or other benefits who do not file taxes and veterans’ benefits are eligible for the stimulus check, but they have to register through the IRS Non-Filer portal to process their payments.
The portal is a free service and is available at: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/non-filers-enter-payment-info-here
People receiving Social Security payments (retirement, disability or survivor benefits), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Veterans Affairs benefits or Railroad Retirement will get a stimulus payment automatically. They do not need to file federal income taxes to receive their payment. However, if the claimant has dependents under the age of 17 and did not file a tax return in 2018 or 2019, they may want to use the IRS portal in order to receive the $500 per dependent supplement. According to the IRS, beneficiaries of the above mentioned programs who have not filed taxes in the last two years and wish to claim dependents using the IRS portal must do so before noon on Wednesday, April 22, 2020. If they miss this deadline, these filers will only receive the individual stimulus payment amount in 2020. The supplement for dependents will have to be claimed next tax season, in 2021.
Everyone else must file income taxes to receive a stimulus payment. The IRS will determine the amount of payments and where payments will be sent using the 2019 federal income tax filing. If there is no 2019 filing, the 2018 tax filing will be used. If federal income taxes were not filed in 2018 or 2019, there is still time to file for 2019.
This stimulus distribution system can make it harder for people with very low incomes and those without stable housing to claim their payments. Based on the available federal guidance we have identified the following strategies to help more people get the money they need.
There are two primary ways to get help filing your taxes: free provider services or paid provider services. Free tax provider services do not charge to file taxes and allow people to keep more their refund. Paid tax provider services charge hundreds of dollars to file taxes and may also offer expensive unneeded products and services.
How will I get my payment?
People who receive Social Security and Railroad Retirement payments will receive their stimulus payment the same way they regularly receive their check.
If the federal income taxes were filed for 2018 or 2019, the stimulus payment will be sent the same way the last federal refund was sent.
The IRS estimates it will take several weeks to mail all of the paper checks. Allowing the IRS to direct deposit they payment will take much less time. People without a bank account can have their payment direct deposited to nearly any financial tool that has a bank routing number. Financial products to have payments direct deposited include:
It is important to note that some of these products may have additional fees.
If you will get a paper check, but want to receive a direct deposit, the IRS has launched the online Get My Payment tool. The tool will allow people to enter a financial product where they want the payment to go. It will also provide information on when the payment will be sent. It is available at https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payments
Some Ohio banks will cash stimulus checks for noncustomers for free at https://www.ohiobankersleague.com/customers
You do not need a permanent address to file a tax return or register to receive the stimulus check through the IRS portal. As with the earned income tax refund, shelters or other service providers like clinics or day centers can allow clients to use their address for tax filing purposes. Organizations that provide this service must have mail handling procedures that are secure and ensure the checks reach the intended recipient. People can also use a relative or friend’s address. Shelters, food banks, clinics, and other service providers may consider educating their clients about stimulus checks and other tax programs, like the earned income tax credit.
The payment is not taxable and will not affect your tax refund next year. It is a prepaid tax credit. For example, if you are single, with no dependents, with earnings under $75,000 and expect a $100 tax refund when you file your taxes for 2020 in 2021, you will get a total refund of $1,300, with $1,200 of that refund already being paid out this year.
The new deadline to file federal income taxes is July 15, 2020. The economic impact payments will be available through the rest of 2020.
Get the latest updates from the IRS about the stimulus payments: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payments
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