Here are some details on the Bill, which was signed into law on March 11, 2021, and some Q&A on the stimulus payments
What’s in the Bill?
- +Payments up to $1,400 for most Americans
- +Extends additional unemployment support to millions still out of work
- +Makes major changes to the tax code to benefit families with children.
- +Sets aside new federal aid to help schools reopen, aid cities and states facing budget shortfalls and assist in the rollout of a coronavirus vaccine.
What are details on the stimulus payments?
The latest payments are $1,400 per household member, including adults, children and adult dependents such as college students and elderly relatives. Adult dependents were ineligible for prior rounds of payments. A married couple with two children will receive up to $5,600. That is more than the $3,400 maximum payment in last year’s first round for that household and the $2,400 maximum from the second round.
How will the payments arrive?
Based on past practice, the IRS is likely to send payments using the direct deposit information it has on file. If it doesn’t have that information, it will send paper checks or debit cards, which will take longer to arrive. The IRS will post more details as they become available at www.irs.gov/coronavirus. As before, you should be able to track the status of your payment via the I.R.S.’s Get My Payment tool.
What information will the IRS use to determine the size of payments?
The government will use the information it has on file from the 2020 tax return if that has been processed. It will use information from the 2019 tax return if your 2020 tax return hasn’t been filed yet. Even people who don’t file tax returns or have no income are eligible; expect more information soon on how the government will make payments to those groups.
What if my 2019 income was too high to qualify but I haven’t filed my lower-income 2020 return yet?
You can try to file your 2020 return quickly to qualify for the larger amount. However, even if you don’t get your tax return in before the payments go out, you aren’t out of luck. The bill authorizes the IRS to use 2020 returns and top up any payments if necessary later this year. For example, if your 2019 income as an individual was $85,000 and your 2020 income was $70,000, you will get nothing if the IRS has only your 2019 return. If you file your 2020 return quickly enough to be processed before the payments go out, you could get the full $1,400 now. If you wait to file your 2020 return, you would get the $1,400 at some later point this year. The IRS hasn’t provided details yet on this process.
Visit www.irs.gov/coronavirus for up-to-date information on the Stimulus Package details.