FARGO — An estimated 80% of Americans, including those on Social Security, won't have to do anything to get their "economic impact payments" that will begin to be distributed within the next three weeks.
If people filed income taxes in 2018 or already for 2019, the $1,200 payment to individuals and $2,400 payment to couples with an extra $500 for each qualifying child will automatically be put into the same bank account reflected on the return filed.
However, the federal Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service said in announcing the checks that there are millions who have never shared their bank account numbers or don't have one at all. Those who typically do not file returns will need to submit a "simple tax return form" to receive the stimulus payment through a process that hasn't been released yet, but it will be a "web-based portal."
Late Wednesday night, the Treasury Department said it would no longer require senior citizens on Social Security or those on disability to file the "simple tax return form" as earlier was stated.
Who is eligible?
Tax filers with adjusted gross income up to $75,000 for individuals and up to $150,000 for married couples filing joint returns will receive the full payment. For filers with income above those amounts, the payment amount is reduced by $5 for each $100 above the $75,000/$150,000 thresholds. Single filers with income exceeding $99,000 and $198,000 for joint filers with no children are not eligible.
How will the IRS know where to send payment?
The vast majority of people do not need to take any action. The IRS will calculate and automatically send the economic impact payment to eligible taxpayers.
For people who have already filed their 2019 tax returns, the IRS will use that 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. The economic impact payment will be deposited directly into the same banking account reflected on the return filed.
What if the IRS doesn't have the direct deposit information?
In the coming weeks, the Treasury 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 instead of checks in the mail.
Can someone who is not required to file a tax return receive a 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 and others who are otherwise not required to file a tax return or pay taxes will have to fill out the simple tax return form that will be released soon. Those on Social Security or disability will simply get their payments also and will no longer have to fill out the extra form as was first stated by the federal Treasury Department and the IRS.
IRS.gov/coronavirus will soon provide information instructing people in these groups on how to file a 2019 tax return with simple, but necessary, information including their filing status, number of dependents and direct deposit bank account information.
Can someone who has not filed a tax return for 2018 or 2019 still receive an economic impact payment?
Yes. The IRS urges anyone with a tax filing obligation who has not yet filed a tax return for 2018 or 2019 to file as soon as they can to receive an economic impact payment. Taxpayers should include direct deposit banking information on the return.
How long are the economic impact payments available?
For those concerned about visiting a tax professional or local community organization in person to get help with a tax return, these economic impact payments will be available throughout the rest of 2020.
For more information
The IRS will post all key information on IRS.gov/coronavirus as soon as it becomes available.
The IRS has a reduced staff in many offices but remains committed to helping eligible individuals receive their payments expeditiously. Check for updated information on IRS.gov/coronavirus rather than calling IRS workers who are helping process 2019 returns.