Stimulus Payment FAQ
On March 27, I voted for the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act in order to strengthen our public health response as well as our economic security in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. To that end, this bill will provide a one-time stimulus payment for most Americans. These payments will come from the IRS in the form of a direct deposit to your bank or credit union account or a check in the mail.
Most Virginians will receive this payment automatically, but some will need to take further action so please read the below carefully.
Who is eligible to receive a stimulus payment?
If you are a non-dependent adult with a valid Social Security number and made less than $75,000 in 2019, you are eligible to receive a CARES Act stimulus payment, even if you do not normally file a tax return.
The maximum payment allowed is $1,200 per individual or $2,400 per married couple filing jointly, plus $500 per dependent child aged 16 or under. Those qualifying for the full amount are:
- Single individuals whose 2019 adjusted gross income (AGI) was $75,000 or less;
- Heads of households whose 2019 AGI was $112,500 or less; and
- Married couples filing jointly whose 2019 AGI was $150,000 or less.
How can I check the status of my payment?
You can track the status of your payment and provide direct deposit information using either the IRS’ Get My Payment tool or its Nonfilers: Enter Payment Info Here tool. Generally, you should use the Get My Payment tool if you have filed 2018 or 2019 taxes or if you receive Social Security, SSI, SSDI, or Veterans benefits. If none of those categories apply to you, then you should use Nonfilers: Enter Payment Info Here. If you are not sure which tool you should use, please see IRS guidance here.
What if my 2019 AGI is above the threshold?
If your adjusted gross income (AGI) is above the threshold for your filing status, your CARES Act payment will be phased out depending on your income. The payment will be decreased by $5 for every $100 you make above the threshold. For example, a single individual with no dependent children would receive $0 if their 2019 AGI was $99,000 or higher.
What if I haven’t filed my 2019 taxes yet?
If you have not yet filed your 2019 taxes, the IRS will use information from your 2018 tax return to determine the size of your payment. People who have filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return should receive their CARES Act payment automatically by check or direct deposit.
On April 1, the U.S. Department of Treasury announced that Social Security recipients who typically do not file tax returns will receive a $1,200 payment.
Am I eligible if I have not filed a tax return in recent years?
Yes, as long as you have a valid Social Security number, but you may need to provide more information to the IRS in some cases.
If you receive Social Security, SSI, SSDI, or Veterans benefits, you should receive your stimulus payment automatically. The IRS will direct deposit or mail your payment to wherever you normally receive your benefit. If you receive other benefits by Direct Express, you will likely receive your stimulus payment there as well. For more information on Direct Express and stimulus payments, please see here.
If you do not receive any of the above benefits, and you have not filed 2018 or 2019 taxes, then you should use the IRS’ Nonfilers: Enter Payment Info Here tool. This tool allows you to provide basic information so IRS will know where and how to send your payment.
If you make less than $69,000 you are eligible to file your taxes for free online using the IRS’ Free File program.
Am I eligible if I am a Social Security recipient and have not filed my taxes?
Yes, assuming you meet the other eligibility requirements. On April 1, the U.S. Department of Treasury announced that Social Security recipients who typically do not file tax returns will receive a $1,200 payment. On April 17, the IRS made a similar announcement about Veterans.
Are dependents aged 17 or older eligible to receive a payment?
No. Individuals who are or can be claimed as a dependent and are aged 17 or older are not eligible to receive a payment.
I recognize that this creates an unfair hardship for many families, and I am cosponsoring a bill that would allow dependent college-age students and all dependents with disabilities to receive a stimulus payment.
When will I receive my payment?
Many constituents are still waiting on receiving their stimulus payments. Social Security, SSI, SSDI, and VA beneficiaries should start receiving stimulus payments in early May. People who will be getting their stimulus payment by Direct Express should receive their payment by mid-May.
Many people who already have direct deposit information on file with the IRS and who have filed 2018 or 2019 tax returns have already received their payments, although there still are delays in cases where IRS has not finished processing a 2019 return.
The IRS has said it plans send out payments in multiple rounds, beginning in mid-April and continuing through the summer and fall. For those without direct deposit information, the IRS will mail physical checks, beginning in May. It may take up to 20 weeks for IRS to mail all the checks. The IRS will mail checks to lowest-income individuals first.
You are eligible to receive your payment anytime before the end of 2020.
To track the status of your payment and to submit direct deposit information, please view the IRS’ “Get My Payment” online app.
How will I receive my payment?
If you already receive refunds from the IRS by direct deposit to your bank or credit union account, you will likely receive your payment in that account.
Finally, some may receive a check in the mail.
Can I call the IRS to check the status of my payment or provide more information?
At this time, there is no way to call the IRS to check the status of your payment. The only options are by using the IRS’ online tools.
This is unacceptable for people with limited internet access or people experiencing problems checking the status of their payment. That is why I signed a bipartisan letter demanding that IRS provide a phone number for people to call.
Get My Payment says that my Economic Impact Payment was sent to an account I don’t recognize. Why is that, and how do I get my payment?
When some taxpayers file their tax return, they may choose an option available from their tax preparer or software provider to help them pay their fees, get their refund more quickly or even load the refund onto a direct debit card. This group of different products is referred to as refund settlement products. In these situations, taxpayers may:
- Use a banking product to help them complete the tax filing transaction, sometimes referred to as a Refund Anticipation Loan (RAL) or a Refund Anticipation Check (RAC).
- Choose to have their tax refund loaded onto a debit card provided by a variety of groups in the tax and financial communities.
When you filed your tax return, if you chose a refund settlement product for direct deposit purposes, you may have received a prepaid debit card. In some cases, your Economic Impact Payment may have been directed to the bank account associated with the refund settlement product or prepaid debit card.
If the refund settlement product or the associated account is closed or no longer active, the bank is required to reject the deposit and return it to the IRS. The “Get My Payment” app will be updated once the returned payment to the IRS is processed. Timing of this process depends on several variables, including when and how the payments are rejected and returned to the IRS, when “Get My Payment” updates, and when taxpayers check the tool.
Once the returned payment is processed by the IRS, the payment will automatically be mailed to the address on the 2019 or 2018 tax return, or the address on file with the U.S. Postal Service – whichever is more current, and the status in Get My Payment will update accordingly.
The IRS also noted that there was a reporting error that started showing up in recent days on Get My Update, which inaccurately indicated rejected payments were being sent back to the same taxpayer account a second time. They are actually being mailed to the taxpayers. The IRS has quickly taken steps to correct this reporting error. Get My Payment will be updated starting Tuesday, April 21 to reflect that the taxpayer’s payment has actually been mailed; not rerouted to a closed bank account.
I have a complex tax status. Are there resources available to answer questions about specific scenarios?
As of April 1, the IRS has not yet released detailed information on how it will implement the CARES Act stimulus payment program. That means that information needed to answer individual questions about how much you can expect to receive given specific circumstances is not yet available.
The IRS is working to finalize guidance quickly and is required by law to mount a public awareness campaign to ensure Americans understand how they can receive this stimulus payment.
Where can I find more information?
The IRS is posting updates as they become available here.