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What you need to know about stimulus checks
Beginning mid-April, the IRS will be issuing economic stimulus checks to millions of Americans. The IRS will be sending the payments in waves. If the IRS has your current and correct bank account information based on your 2018 or 2019 tax return, the funds will be deposited directly into your account.
You may not see your check for weeks due to the IRS’ staggered payment schedule. If the information the IRS has on file is incorrect, you may experience a delay. If you didn’t file taxes in 2018 or 2019, you should let the IRS know where to send your stimulus payment as soon as possible. Simply fill out the “Free File” form and submit it to the IRS.
Are you eligible for a stimulus payment?
To be eligible for a stimulus payment, you must be a U.S. citizen or resident alien who:
- Has a valid Social Security number
- Can’t be claimed as a dependent of another taxpayer
- Had adjusted gross income under certain limits
Eligible retirees and recipients of Social Security, Railroad Retirement, disability, or veterans' benefits, as well as taxpayers who do not make enough money to file a tax return usually, will also receive a payment.
This includes those who have no income, as well as those whose income comes entirely from certain benefit programs, such as Supplemental Security Income benefits.
Retirees who receive either Social Security retirement or Railroad Retirement benefits will also receive payments automatically.
Who is not eligible for a stimulus check?
Some Americans will not be eligible for the economic stimulus check, according to IRS press releases and news reports.
Taxpayers likely won't qualify for a stimulus check if:
- Your adjusted gross income is greater than:
- $99,000 if your filing status was single or married filing separately
- $136,500 for head of household
- $198,000 if your filing status was married filing jointly
- You can be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s return. This would include a child, student, or older dependent.
- You do not have a valid Social Security number.
- You are a nonresident alien.
- You filed Form 1040-NR or Form 1040NR-EZ, Form 1040-PR or Form 1040-SS for 2019.
What do I need to do to receive my check?
Nothing! No additional action is needed by taxpayers who have already filed their 2018 or 2019 taxes. If you don’t usually file your tax return, submit your information.
How much will your stimulus payment be?
U.S. residents will receive an economic stimulus check of $1,200 for individual or head of household filers, and $2,400 for married filing jointly if they are not a dependent of another taxpayer and have a work-eligible Social Security number with adjusted gross income up to:
- $75,000 for individuals
- $112,500 for head of household filers and
- $150,000 for married couples filing joint returns
Taxpayers will receive a reduced payment if their annual gross income is between:
- $75,000 and $99,000 if their filing status was single or married filing separately
- 112,500 and $136,500 for head of household
- $150,000 and $198,000 if their filing status was married filing jointly
The amount of the reduced payment is based upon your specific adjusted gross income. Payments are reduced by $5 for every $100 earned above the limits listed above. So, individuals with higher salaries may still qualify for a stimulus check.
Ask yourself these questions for the best ways to use your stimulus check
What should you do with your stimulus payment money?
That’s up to you, and everyone’s needs are different! You want to first focus on your necessities (housing, food, utilities, and transportation.) Take a look at your most pressing needs and make a plan from there. Here are a few ways you could spend your cash.
Do you need to pay your bills?
Use this $1,200 to pay your bills and stay on your feet. Even if you need to make the minimum payment now, stay current on your bills focusing on your mortgage/rent. If you have extra leftover, save it for next month’s bills.
Do you have a reliable emergency fund?
Nearly half of Americans couldn’t cover a $400 emergency, according to a survey by the Federal Reserve. If you don’t need the stimulus money to pay your bills right now, saving for a potential personal financial crisis down the road can ease the strain of job losses, unexpected medical costs, or home repairs.
Planning for the future begins with small steps today. Start with a $1,000 emergency fund and grow from there. Savings accounts like Bonus Saver or Bonus Money Market can also earn you money on your balance, essentially working for you.
Put it back into the economy
Once you have paid your bills and continued saving – spend some money locally! The economic stimulus check is intended to help boost the economy.
You can order takeout from your favorite neighborhood restaurant, buy a gift from a local shop, or grab a treat from a local-owned bakery. Before you order something from a big box store, think about the impact your purchase can have on a small business in your community.
Your financial well-being
At Numerica, your well-being is our top priority – we know that this uncertain time can cause stress and anxiety. To support social distancing and reduce traffic in our branches, we will only cash stimulus checks from Numerica members.
Visit our COVID-19 update page for current branch updates and member resources.