Economic Stimulus Payments Are Coming For Millions Of Americans

12/28/2020

Millions of Americans will be receiving an economic stimulus payment of up to $600 per person from the federal government to help with financial hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The money will be electronically deposited directly into the bank account you have on file with the IRS or will it arrive via the United States Postal Service in the form of a paper check. The payments will not be counted as taxable income.

An earlier round of stimulus payments went out in the first part of 2020, with amounts of up to $1,200 for qualified adults, $2,400 for couples, and an additional $500 per child.

Under the new economic relief plan that includes approximately $900 billion for the stimulus payments, extended jobless benefits, and money for another round of Paycheck Protection Program funding for businesses, the plan calls for adults to receive up to $600 each. Married couples will also receive an extra $600 for dependent children 16 and under, meaning a couple with three children could receive $3,000. Students who are 17 or older don’t qualify for a check if they are claimed as dependents; that means the stimulus excludes millions of high school and college students.

Individuals earning less than $75,000 in adjusted gross income in the 2019 tax year will get the full payment amount, as will married couples earning less than $150,000. Payments will be smaller for individuals and couples earning more than those amounts, and they will be phased out entirely for individuals who earn $87,000 or more and married couples with adjusted gross incomes above $174,000.

Those who file as a head of household are eligible for the $600 payment if they have a yearly income up to $112,500, and they will get the extra $600 for children under 17. The adults will be eligible for a reduced amount if they earned up to $124,500.

As long as their income does not exceed the limit, people on Social Security are also eligible to receive the stimulus relief payments. Those on Social Security who normally don’t file tax returns will automatically receive their payment. Those who receive Supplemental Security Income and regular payments from the Department of Veterans Affairs or the Railroad Retirement Board will also receive the payments.

Under a change from the CARES Act that was passed earlier in 2020, for this round of stimulus checks U.S. citizens and green card holders who filed a joint tax return with an undocumented spouse will now be eligible for the $600 payments, as will their dependent children under 17. In addition, the new bill retroactively allows these mixed-status families with at least one filer with a Social Security number to receive at check of up to $1,200, as well as the $500 per child that was part of the CARES Act. Undocumented individuals, however, will still not qualify for payments.

To check on your payment status and to get the additional information about the program from the IRS, visit irs.gov/coronavirus.