Economic Impact Payments: What You Need to Know
April 14, 2020
On March 27, 2020, the president signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). This $2 trillion aid package will provide financial aid to families and businesses impacted by the coronavirus, or COVID-19, pandemic.
The CARES Act provides direct government payments to eligible Americans to offset the economic impact of the virus. The Treasury Department and the IRS have announced that distribution of these Economic Impact Payments (EIRs) will begin in April 2020. For most people, no action will be required. Official IRS information about the coronavirus pandemic and EIPs can be found on the IRS Coronavirus Tax Relief page.
When will I receive my payment?
If you are eligible (more on that below), you may expect to receive your payment as soon as the middle of April, according to the Treasury Department.
How will I know if I am eligible? How large a payment will I receive?
The IRS is responsible for determining eligibility for Economic Impact Payments.
U.S. residents will receive Economic Impact Payments of up to $1,200 for individual or head of household tax filers, and up to $2,400 for married couples filing jointly. Parents also receive $500 for each qualifying child. Filers with adjusted gross income below the thresholds specified below will receive a full payment.
- $75,000 for individuals
- $112,500 for head of household filers
- $150,000 for married couples filing joint returns
Taxpayers will receive a reduced payment if their adjusted gross income is between:
- $75,000 and $99,000 if their filing status is single or married filing separately
- $112,500 and $136,500 for heads of household
- $150,000 and $198,000 if their filing status is married filing jointly
Taxpayers above the maximum thresholds indicated above will receive no payment.
Payment calculations will be based on taxpayers' 2019 returns or on their 2018 returns if they have not yet filed for 2019. (The 2019 filing and payment deadline has been delayed from April 15 until July 15.)
To qualify for a payment, an individual must have a work-eligible Social Security number and must not be claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer in the current tax year. Lower-income individuals who are not subject to income tax will also receive payments.
For complete eligibility information, please visit the IRS website.
Will college students be eligible to receive a payment?
A college student who is claimed as a dependent on the tax return of a parent is not be eligible for a payment, though a financially independent student would be. For complete eligibility information, please visit the IRS website.
How will I receive my payment? Will it be sent as a paper check or electronically?
Most individuals will receive their payment electronically. This is faster and safer than mass distribution of paper checks.
If you filed taxes in 2018 or 2019 and provided on your tax return your bank routing and account number for payments or refunds, and this information has not changed, the IRS has the information it needs to send your payment electronically, with no action required on your part.
If you are a Social Security recipient, the IRS will use the direct deposit information held by the Social Security Administration. If the direct deposit information you have provided in the past is for a bank-issued, prepaid debit card, you will receive your funds on that card account.
If the IRS does not have your information on file and you are not a Social Security recipient, a check will be mailed to you. Check payments will be distributed weeks or possibly months after the direct deposits are sent. For additional information, please visit the IRS website.
To receive payment more quickly, we strongly recommend you file a 2019 tax return and provide direct deposit information.
If you do not typically file a tax return because you are not required to do so (for example, you may have low income or receive veterans disability compensation, a pension, or survivor benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs), the IRS has created an online portal, called “Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info,” for the provision of direct deposit information. Visit this link to do so.
I file a tax return every year, but the IRS does not have my current information on file. Can I receive my payment electronically?
Yes. The IRS is planning to create a new, online portal called “Get My Payment” where people can obtain details about their payment and provide direct deposit information if the IRS does not already have it. At this time, the IRS online portal is under development. For updated information, please visit the IRS website.
The IRS has extended the tax-filing deadline this year from April 15 to July 15. If you file your 2019 taxes as soon as possible with your bank routing and account number on the form, the IRS may be able to use that information to send you an electronic payment.
What if I am typically not required to file a tax return?
Social Security recipients who have not been required to file tax returns will not be required to do so to receive their payments. People who typically do not file a tax return and are not Social Security beneficiaries will need to provide their information to the IRS at the website referenced in Question 4 above, “Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info.”
What is a bank routing and account number?
Bank routing and account numbers are used to direct payments to the right bank account at the right financial institution. If you have a checking account at a financial institution, the information is on the paper check. The bank routing number is on the lower left-hand side of the check and tells Treasury the correct bank to send the payment. Your individual account number is to the right of the routing number. That tells the bank to credit your specific account. Bank-issued reloadable prepaid debit card accounts have the same numbers, but the way they are provided to you will vary.
How do I find my bank routing and account number if I don't have checks?
Log in to your bank account online or through your bank's mobile app. Bank routing and account numbers may be located in different places, depending on your bank. If you can't find it easily, search “bank routing” within the app or website. If you still can't find the information or can't log on, call your bank for more information. Please remember banks will not provide your account number over the phone in order to safeguard your account from fraudsters.
New Tripoli Bank's routing number is 031312796. If you are having trouble finding your account number, you can contact the bank toll-free at (888) 298-8821.
If I have a reloadable prepaid card with a bank, can I direct the payment to that account?
Yes, follow the same instructions to gather the routing and bank account numbers to provide via the IRS online portal.
If I have a bank account, can I still receive a paper check?
Yes, but be aware that your payment will be slower than an electronic transfer. Paper checks may be sent out weeks after the electronic checks are sent. Many customers will prefer depositing the check through remote deposit capture. If your bank offers this service, you can take a picture of your check through your bank's smartphone app to make the deposit from the comfort and safety of your home the same day the check arrives in the mail. Alternatively, you can make the deposit at your bank's ATM. If you want to deposit the check in person, you may be required to visit a bank drive-through location because many bank branches are temporarily closed or offering restricted hours due to the pandemic. Check your bank's website for hours of operation.
New Tripoli Bank's hours of operation can be found here.
I don't have a bank account, but I want to receive my money faster. What can I do?
Some banks will open accounts for customers online without requiring an in-person visit to a bank branch. Search online for banks that offer digital account opening. Please check with the bank to understand all of the terms and conditions of opening an account online. Another option is a bank-issued reloadable prepaid card, which may be used to accept a direct deposit. These cards are available at retailers that partner with a bank. Please make sure that the card is “reloadable” in order to receive a direct deposit payment. After opening the account, you will be provided with a bank routing and account number to provide to the IRS.
What should I do to prevent fraudsters from accessing my funds?
A large amount of funds will be disbursed in the coming weeks to qualifying individuals. Accordingly, there is a risk for fraud of various types. The IRS has announced various ways individuals can be on guard against fraudulent activities. Click here to read the notice from the IRS.
It is important to remember that banks or the federal government will never contact you by telephone, text or email asking for your account information. Do not provide any banking information to anyone claiming to be “registering you for your relief payment.” This is a red flag.
For security reasons, the IRS plans to mail letters about Economic Impact Payments to taxpayers' last known address within 15 days after the payment is paid. The letter will provide information on how the payment was made and how to report any failure to receive the payment. If you are unsure you are receiving a legitimate letter, the IRS urges you to visit IRS.gov to protect yourself against fraudsters.
What should I do if I receive an unsolicited email or text appearing to be from the IRS?
Those who receive unsolicited emails, text messages or social media contacts attempting to gather information that appear to be from either the IRS or an organization closely linked to the IRS, such as the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS), should forward them to phishing at irs dot gov. Taxpayers are encouraged not to engage potential fraudsters online or on the phone. Learn more about reporting suspected scams by going to the Report Phishing and Online Scams page on IRS.gov.