April 28, 2020
Millions of Americans have received their economic impact payments, or “stimulus checks,” yet many of us are still waiting. The IRS’s website has a lot of information about these payments and how to obtain them. Our FAQs have some basic info on the payments – and some tips to help avoid scammers who want to steal the money from you.
FAQs on Economic Impact Payments
Q. Am I eligible for a payment?
A. If you are a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or qualifying resident alien, and you make less than $75,000, you are eligible for a $1,200 payment for individuals.
Married spouses filing jointly are eligible for $2,400 payments, and folks with underage children are eligible for an additional $500 per child. For those with individual incomes ranging $75,000 – $99,000, the payment is reduced. For more on eligibility and calculating your payment, check out the IRS’s website.
Q. Why haven’t I received my payment yet?
A. The IRS has to handle tens of millions of payments each week, so yours might not be out yet. If you filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return and the IRS processed it, you can use the IRS’s Get My Payment tool to check the status of your payment.
Q. What if I can’t get my payment through direct deposit?
A. The IRS will mail you a check if direct deposit is unavailable.
Q. What if I did not file a 2018 or 2019 tax return?
A. First, find out if you should file a return, and do so if needed. If you do not need to file a return, you can use this tool to apply for the stimulus payment.
Q. Can I be charged to get the payment?
A. No! If anyone tries to get you to pay for an economic impact payment, they are a scammer. Beware of scammers online and on the phone.
Q. Will the IRS call me to get personal information for the payment?
A. No! The IRS will not call you. If someone calls and asks for personal information, they are almost certainly a scammer.
Q. How can I protect my payment from identity thieves?
A. Check the status of your payment, and make sure you apply for your payment if you are not required to file a return.
Q. Can my payment be garnished by debt collectors?
A. Governor Newsom announced that debt collectors will not be able to garnish Californians’ economic impact payments, and that payments that were garnished have to be returned.
This guide is intended for informational purposes only and does not provide legal advice.