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Stimulus check FAQ: How much you can get and when you might get it

People making less than $75,000 a year might be expecting a $600 stimulus check in the coming weeks.

CALIFORNIA, USA — After several months of waiting, Americans are awaiting a stimulus check in the coming weeks. President Donald Trump signed a bill that would allot $600 to many people earning less than $75,000 per year.

RELATED: The new stimulus bill is a quick fix for struggling Americans | Dollars and Sense 

The Internal Revenue Service [IRS] began sending payments on Dec. 29.

We've put together many of the questions asked by ABC10 viewers about the coming stimulus check. And if you don't see your question in there, you can submit yours by texting the ABC10 Dollars and Sense Team at (916) 321-3310.

What do I do if I haven't received a stimulus check yet?

If you don’t get a payment and are eligible to receive one, it may be claimed on your 2020 tax return as the Recovery Rebate Credit.

Anyone who makes less than $72,000 annually can file their federal tax return electronically for free through the IRS Free File Program.

If I don't usually file taxes, how do I get my stimulus payment?

According to the IRS, even if you don't usually file taxes, you will need to file taxes for 2020 taxes this year to receive the stimulus payment through the Recovery Rebate Credit.

Anyone who makes less than $72,000 annually can file their federal tax return electronically for free through the IRS Free File Program.

Why does the IRS tool say "payment status not available?"

The IRS said if the Get My Payment tool shows “Payment Status #2 – Not Available,” the person seeing this message will not receive a second economic impact payment.

The IRS advised eligible taxpayers who don’t receive their Economic Impact Payment to file their 2020 tax return electronically and claim the Recovery Rebate Credit on their tax return to get their payment and any refund as quickly as possible.

What do I do if I lost or accidentally threw away my check or card?

If you lost or threw away your check, you can request a trace payment and apply for Recovery Rebate Credit when filing your taxes. The IRS will not issue another payment related to the second stimulus check ahead of filing taxes.

If you lost or threw away the debit card sent by the IRS, call the MetaBank customer service line at 1.800.240.8100 immediately and select the “Lost/Stolen” option. They will be able to issue a new card.

Why did my payment go to a bank account I don't recognize?

For some people who used tax services like H&R Block to get a refund transfer, the stimulus check may have gone to that account, and you may want to reach out to the tax preparer to ensure your payment is on the way. Be aware; customer support phone lines currently have a long wait.

And according to the IRS website, your payment information cannot be changed. If you don’t get a payment and are eligible to receive one, it may be claimed on your 2020 tax return as the Recovery Rebate Credit.

What do I do if I did not get extra money for having a dependent under the age of 17?

New parents will not receive a check for their newest family member because the stimulus checks are based on 2019 tax filings. However, these parents will eventually receive this money when they file their 2020 tax returns.

If you did not receive the dependent credit, you could also file for the Recovery Rebate Credit on your 2020 taxes.

I use H&R Block to do my taxes, and I haven't received a refund yet. What should I do?

People with their tax refund checks sent directly to their bank account automatically get their stimulus check from the government to that account number. However, H&R Block customers that used the Refund Transfer option in 2019 may have had their stimulus sent to that temporary account. The company says they are investigating why this happened. 

H&R Block posted online, saying in part, "If you took a Refund Transfer, it may be reflecting that account number. Check your 2019 return to confirm." "But don’t worry – we have sent these payments on to the method you chose for Refund Transfer: direct deposit, check, or Emerald Card. The money should be there by the end of the day."

However, many said they still didn't receive their payment at the end of the day when this started on Monday, or they only received a part of their payment.

If you don’t receive money this time when you should, you’ll be eligible to get that money on your tax return. H&R Block said people should call them if there are any questions at 1-800-472-5625. 

I didn’t file a tax return and didn’t register with the IRS.gov non-filers tool. Am I eligible for a payment?

Who gets a stimulus check?

People who earn less than $75,000, according to their 2019 tax returns, are eligible to receive at least $600. Couples who file jointly would need to make less than $150,000 to receive $1,200. People and couples who file jointly could also receive money for any dependents under the age of 17.

The IRS explained these payments would also go to people who receive Social Security retirement, survivor or disability benefits (SSDI), Railroad Retirement benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and Veterans Affairs beneficiaries who didn’t file a tax return.

How much money will I get in the stimulus check?

The latest stimulus package originally outlined $600 to individuals making up to $75,000 per year and $1,200 to couples making up to $150,000. An additional $600 payment will be made per dependent, similar to the last round of relief payments in the spring.

Here is a tool from Omni Calculator that may help you determine how much you might receive, based on the $600 number.

Are we getting a $2,000 check?

Only a $600 check has been approved. The House of Representatives passed a bill that would provide a $2,000 check to many Americans, but the bill still would need to be approved by the Senate and signed by the president.

When will I get the latest stimulus check?

The IRS reports the date of payment is to be Jan. 4. However, some direct deposits were set up, and some checks were sent out as soon as Dec. 30.

If the payments can't be direct-deposited or mailed by then, Americans will have to wait to receive their money when they file a 2020 tax return in 2021.

How do I make sure I am getting a stimulus check?

People should be able to check the status of both their first and second payments by using the Get My Payment tool, available in English and Spanish only on IRS.gov. The tool was reactivated on Jan. 4.

Where will my stimulus check go?

Those who don’t receive a direct deposit in January should watch their mail for either a paper check or a debit card.

The IRS said people who received a direct deposit of your refund based on their 2019 tax return; the IRS would send your payment to the bank account provided on the most recent tax return. However, if a Form 8888, Allocation of Refund, were filed, splitting your refund into multiple accounts, your payment would be deposited to the first bank account listed. The IRS said people could not change this account information.

The IRS will use the address they have on file to mail the stimulus check or debit card. The agency uses the address on your most recent tax return or updated through the United States Postal Service.

If I no longer have the bank account or previous address on my taxes last year, what can I do to be sure I receive a stimulus check?

The IRS plans to use the data already in its systems to send the new payments. Taxpayers with direct deposit information on file will receive the payment that way. Those without current direct deposit information on file will receive the payment as a check or debit card in the mail.

For those eligible but who don’t receive the payment for any reason, it can be claimed by filing a 2020 tax return in 2021. The Economic Impact Payments are advance payment of what will be called the Recovery Rebate Credit on the 2020 Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR.

Can I change or correct my banking details with the IRS? Can I change the address the stimulus check is going to?

The IRS will use the data already in its systems to send the new payments. 

For those eligible but who don’t receive the payment for any reason, it can be claimed by filing a 2020 tax return in 2021.

If I do not have a bank account, how will I receive the second stimulus check? 

Either a mailed check or a debit card, depending on the state, according to the IRS.

Is it quicker to get the stimulus check by direct deposit or mail?

Per the IRS, all mailed checks should be received by the end of January. Direct deposits started to go out on Dec. 29 and can be accessed as soon as Jan. 4.

If I got the first stimulus check, do I have to do anything to receive the second one?

Payments are automatic for eligible taxpayers who filed a 2019 tax return, those who receive Social Security retirement, survivor or disability benefits (SSDI), Railroad Retirement benefits, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and Veterans Affairs beneficiaries who didn’t file a tax return the IRS explained

Payments are also automatic for anyone who successfully registered for the first payment online at IRS.gov using the agency’s non-filers tool by Nov. 21 or who submitted a simplified tax return that the IRS has processed.

What tax filings are they going off of for the second stimulus check?

Payments are automatic for eligible taxpayers who filed a 2019 tax return, the information received from the IRS' non-filers tool by Nov. 21, or who submitted a simplified tax return that the IRS has processed.

The agency will also use the information provided by Social Security and other agencies with qualified recipients.

Will you still get a stimulus check if you did not file your 2019 taxes?

While you won’t receive an automatic payment now, you can still claim the equivalent Recovery Rebate Credit when you file your 2020 federal income tax return.

People who registered for the first payment online at IRS.gov using the agency’s non-filers tool by Nov. 21 or submitted a simplified tax return that has been processed by the IRS should receive the second payment should they be eligible.

What about people on Social Security? Will they get the stimulus check?

Eligible people should be receiving the stimulus check.

Most Social Security retirement and disability beneficiaries, railroad retirees, and those receiving veterans’ benefits do not need to take any action to receive a payment. For eligible people in this group who didn’t receive a payment for any reason, they can file a 2020 tax return.

Are dependents eligible to receive the stimulus check?

Dependents won't be receiving direct payment under the Economic Impact Payment this year. However, the IRS said taxpayers, including recent college graduates, who didn't receive a payment this year should review the eligibility criteria for the Recovery Rebate Credit when they file their 2020 taxes in 2021 because they could be eligible to claim the stimulus payment then.

Will my child born in 2020 count as a dependent?

Eligible stimulus check recipients who had a new dependent in 2020 will not be receiving the dependent credit in this round of stimulus checks. However, they will be able to claim their new dependent in their 2020 taxes this year and should be able to receive additional monies through the Recovery Rebate Credit.

Will I get extra money for an adult-aged dependent?

Taxpayers with dependents older than 17 will not receive a dependent credit for those dependents. However, some dependents may be eligible to receive a payment through the Recovery Rebate Credit when they file their 2020 taxes.

What if I never received the first economic impact payment?

The IRS urges taxpayers who didn’t receive a payment this year to review the eligibility criteria when they file their 2020 taxes; many people, including recent college graduates, may be eligible to claim it.

People will see the economic impact payments (EIP) referred to as the Recovery Rebate Credit on Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR since the EIPs are advance payments of the Recovery Rebate Credit. 


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