Stimulus Checks Start to Arrive

By Will Johnson

Messenger Reporter

EAST TEXAS – It’s been said that every little bit helps and in these uncertain times, an extra $1,200 in your bank account is a nice thing to have.

As a part of the response to the economic fallout caused by the COVID-19 pandemic – in March – the US Congress approved a $2.2 trillion stimulus package. A key component of this legislation involves a one-time direct payment to most households.

According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website, “The IRS is committed to helping you get your Economic Impact Payment as soon as possible. The payments, also referred to by some as stimulus payments, are automatic for most taxpayers.”

The plan provides $1,200 for each adult and $500 for each child under 17. For example, a married couple with two children would receive $3,400.

The best part of all this – the checks are starting to arrive! Several banks are already reporting the money has arrived or will be deposited into a person’s account within the next few days. 

The website, www.MarketWatch.com, has reported, “The IRS is planning to send a first wave for the week that starts April 13, according to an expected timeline from the House Ways and Means Committee. The tax authority will transmit 60 million payments via direct deposit, using the banking information it has on file for taxpayers’ 2018 or 2019 tax returns, the timetable said. That wave will include Social Security recipients who filed tax returns and included direct deposit information on their returns, according to the House Ways and Means’ estimated timeline.”

For most taxpayers, no further action is needed. This includes taxpayers who filed tax returns in 2018 and 2019 and most seniors and retirees.

There are, however, a few taxpayers who will not receive a stimulus check. Taxpayers likely won’t qualify for an Economic Impact Payment if any of the following apply:

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. For example, this would include a child, student or older dependent who can be claimed on a parent’s return.
  • 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.

Shortly after the payment is deposited, the IRS plans to mail a letter about the economic impact payment to the taxpayer’s last known address.

“The letter will provide information on how the payment was made and how to report any failure to receive the payment. If a taxpayer is unsure they’re receiving a legitimate letter, the IRS urges taxpayers to visit IRS.gov first to protect against scam artists,” the IRS website stated.

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at [email protected].

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