COVID-19 individual stimulus payment

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued information regarding the federal individual stimulus payments.  The payments will be up to $1,200 for individuals, $2,400 for married couples and $500 for qualifying dependents.  The payment amount will decrease for annual incomes over $75,000 for individuals and $150,000 for married couples.  Single filers with annual income over $99,000 and married couples over $198,000 are not eligible.

IRS will use 2019 tax returns for people who have already filed them. IRS will use 2018 tax returns for people who have not yet filed 2019 tax returns.  The money will be deposited into the account on the tax return for direct deposit.  If the tax return does not have a direct deposit account, the check will be mailed.  IRS will implement a web-based portal to provide banking information for people to get direct deposit who have not already provided account information on their tax return.

People who receive Social Security benefits, including retirement, disability and derivative benefit, do not need to file a tax return because IRS will use their SSA-1099 or RRB-1099 to make the payment.  However, people receiving Social Security benefits who want the $500 for each dependent will need to file a tax return.  People receiving SSI only will need to file a tax return.

People who have not filed a tax return for 2018 or 2019 can still do so to receive a payment. The payments will be available until the end of 2020 for people who file tax returns.

Although not in the guidance, please note that persons without a Social Security Number, couples with one person who does not have a Social Security Number (except when one person is a veteran), 17-18 year olds, college students age 19-23 are not eligible for the payment and non-resident aliens (a tax term that basically means persons without a green card).  (IR 2020-61, March 30, 2020, updated April 1, 2020.)