- A $US2 trillion economic relief bill directs the IRS to deliver one-time payments of up to $US1,200 to qualifying Americans.
- To get a stimulus check from the IRS, you need to have a Social Security number, meet certain adjusted gross income (AGI) thresholds, and not be claimed as a dependent.
- The IRS will disburse the funds according to the direct-deposit information on your latest tax return or Social Security benefits statement.
- If you don’t have a tax-filing obligation, you can use the IRS’ tool for non-filers to provide your direct-deposit information to get paid as soon as possible.
- Anyone who doesn’t provide the IRS with bank information will get a paper check in the mail.
- Read more personal finance coverage.
President Donald Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, into law on March 27.
You do not have to sign up to receive a stimulus check. The process is automatic for most Americans who qualify.
Here’s how to get a stimulus check:
1. Have a Social Security number
To get a stimulus check, you need to have a Social Security number. Nonresident aliens, people without a Social Security number, and adult dependents are not eligible.
2. File a tax return for 2018 or 2019
The size of your stimulus check is based on the adjusted gross income listed on the latest tax return you filed, either this year’s tax return or 2018’s.
Americans whose adjusted gross income was less than $US75,000 will receive the maximum amount: $US1,200. Reduced payments are sent to single filers who earned between $US75,000 and $US99,000, or married filers who earned between $US150,000 and $US198,000. There’s also a $US500 payment per child under age 17 for parents in the payment.
Business Insider’s Andy Kiersz created the following chart showing how much taxpayers will receive from the stimulus package based on filing status and income.
Not everyone has to file, however. The IRS will be sending automatic payments of $US1,200 each to Social Security recipients and railroad retirees using the payment method for their regular benefits, whether direct deposit or a home address.
People who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Veterans Affairs (VA) beneficiaries will also get their payments automatically and don’t need to file a tax return.
3. Use the IRS’ free online tool to speed up payment
If you don’t have a tax-filing obligation and don’t receive federal benefits, the IRS urges you to use its new tool for non-filers so you can provide payment information and receive your money quickly.
The tool, which can be found here, asks for direct-deposit details (if available), Social Security number, mailing address, date of birth, and number of qualifying children in order to create and submit a simple tax return (Form 1040).
TurboTax has a free portal of its own for those who are not required to file a full tax return this year and want to submit direct-deposit details to the IRS. It has the same requirements as the IRS tool.
4. Provide updated bank information to the IRS
Note that the tool won’t work if you haven’t filed a return for 2019. If your latest return filed is for 2018 and doesn’t have direct-deposit info, you’ll get a paper check in the mail unless you file your 2019 return.
5. Wait for direct deposit or a paper check
Direct-deposit payments started going out April 13 and will continue throughout the month. Paper checks start going out the week of April 20. Read here to find out when your stimulus payment is coming.
Once the IRS has delivered your payment, either by direct deposit or mail, you should receive a notice within 15 days at your last known address confirming how and when the money was sent to you.
This post was updated on April 17, 2020 to include new information from the IRS.
- Read more on managing your money in this tumultuous time:
- 3 options for people struggling to pay their mortgage during the global health crisis
- 4 reasons to get disability insurance, even if you don’t think you need it
- If you’ve been financially impacted by the coronavirus, you may be able to pause payments on these 8 bills
- How to get a stimulus check from the US government, which could pay up to $US1,200 if you qualify
- In response to the coronavirus, credit card issuers like Amex and Capital One are letting customers skip payments without interest and more