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Relief Package & Recovery Checks FAQ

Recently, President Donald Trump signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, legislation that will provide, among other things, rebate checks for some individuals and families to use during this period of economic distress.

Below are some common questions about the rebate checks, including who is eligible to receive what amount.

Who is eligible for the economic impact payments?

Individuals with adjusted gross incomes of under $75,000, under $112,500 for head of household, and under $150,000 for married couples, are eligible for the full rebate. Must have a SSN.

How much are the economic impact payments?

Individuals with adjusted gross incomes of under $75,000, under $112,500 for head of household, and under $150,000 for married couples, are eligible for the full rebate – $1,200 ($2,400 married). There is also a $500 rebate for each child.

Will immigrants living in the U.S. be eligible?

Immigrants with Social Security numbers are eligible for direct payments so long as, like everyone else, they meet the income thresholds.

Am I eligible if I am a Legal Permanent Resident, DACA Recipient or if I have Temporary Protected Status (TPS)?

Yes — Legal Permanent Residents, DACA and TPS recipients with SSN’s are eligible.

What if I do not have a SSN, but I have a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) and have paid taxes?

In order to be eligible, you must have a SSN.

What about immigrants in mixed-status households?

With the exception of military families, a family won’t be eligible for cash assistance if one parent is unauthorized—meaning he or she has an ITIN.

What if my income is above the threshold?

The payments start phasing out for individuals with adjusted gross incomes of more than $75,000, and couples with adjusted gross incomes of more than $150,000. The amount is then reduced by $5 for every additional $100 of adjusted gross income. Individuals making more than $99,000 with no children, and couples making more than $198,000 with no children, will not receive anything.

Are the economic impact payments taxable?

No

Who qualifies as a child?

Any child who is a qualifying child for the purposes of the Child Tax Credit is also a qualifying child for the purposes of the recovery rebate. In general, a child is any dependent of a taxpayer under the age of 17.

Are seniors whose only income is from Social Security or a veteran whose only income is a veterans’ disability payment eligible?

Yes, as long as they are not the dependent of another taxpayer.

Are individuals with little to no income or those on means-tested federal benefits, such as SSI, eligible for a recovery rebate?

Yes, there is no qualifying income requirement. Even individuals with $0 of income are eligible for a rebate so long as they are not the dependent of another taxpayer and have a work-eligible SSN.

I am eligible for an economic impact payment, what do I have to do to receive it? 

For the vast majority of people, no action on their part will be required to receive a rebate check since the IRS will use a taxpayer’s 2019 tax return if filed or their 2018 return if they haven’t filed their 2019 return.

When can people expect the rebate checks to be distributed?

On March 30h, the Treasury Department and the IRS announced that distribution of economic impact payments will begin in the next three weeks and will be distributed automatically, with no action required for most people.

How will the government know how much I earn and how will I receive the check?

For people who have already filed their 2019 tax returns, the IRS will use this information to calculate the payment amount. For those who have not yet filed their return for 2019, the IRS will use information from their 2018 tax filing to calculate the payment.

If you receive your tax returns through direct deposit, then you will receive this rebate through direct deposit.

What if I didn’t have direct deposit?

In the coming weeks, the Treasury Department plans to develop a web-based portal for individuals to provide their banking information to the IRS online, so that individuals can receive payments immediately as opposed to checks in the mail.

People who don’t provide direct deposit information to the IRS are expected to receive their rebates more slowly because their payments will have to be sent in the mail.

I am not typically required to file a tax return, but I have a SSN. Can I still receive my payment?

Yes. People who typically do not file a tax return will need to file a simple tax return to receive an economic impact payment. Low-income taxpayers, senior citizens, Social Security recipients, some veterans and individuals with disabilities who are otherwise not required to file a tax return will not owe tax.

For additional information

The IRS will post all key information on IRS.gov/coronavirus as soon as it becomes available.

Sources:

*The above information is prepared by the LIBRE Initiative staff for informational purposes and should not be relied on for legal advice. Individuals should consult the IRS or a tax advisor to address questions related to their individual circumstances.*