In yesterday’s stimulus package passed by Congress, another round of Economic Impact Payments (EIP) payments are planned to be sent within a few weeks of President Trump’s signature.
Except for the size of the payment, many of the rules for eligibility and the method of payment are the same as the first payments made earlier this year. The payment is equal to $600 per eligible taxpayer including dependent children. The amount of the payment decreases if your Adjusted Gross Income is above $75,000 for single taxpayers, $112,500 for those filing as head of household, and $150,000 for married couples.
Once again, the IRS will use data from your most recently filed income tax return – either 2018 or 2019 – to determine the amount of the check. And, once again, this check is an advance of a tax credit that will be on your 2020 income tax return. That means if you did not file in those years, or your income prevented you from getting the advance checks this year or in early January, you can potentially get the full stimulus amounts if your income has changed in 2020.
As for eligibility, any person who has a valid work-eligible Social Security number, who is not a dependent on someone else’s return, and who meet the Adjusted Gross Income numbers above is eligible for the $600 payment. This means workers, those receiving veterans’ benefits, Social Security beneficiaries and others are all eligible.
Under the CARES Act, joint returns of couples where only one member of the couple had an SSN were ineligible for a rebate. This latest round of relief changes that provision. These families will now be eligible to receive payments for the members of the family who have SSNs. This change is retroactive, meaning those who fall under this category who missed out on the first round of EIPs can claim that money when filing 2020 tax returns in 2021.
Your dependent children may also be eligible for the $600 payment as long as they are not claimed as a dependent on another taxpayer’s tax return and are not 17 or older.
Other than Social Security beneficiaries (retirement and disability), railroad retirees and those receiving veterans’ benefits, individuals with no taxable income will be able to file a simple form provided by the IRS specifically for the purpose of receiving the rebate check.
If you believe you were eligible for either of the stimulus payments but did not receive one or both, you can claim the tax credit ad receive the payments on your 2020 tax return. This will either increase the amount of your refund or result in a smaller tax owed when the return is filed.