Coronavirus Stimulus Checks 2020
On the 27th of March 2020, President Donald Trump signed the CAREs Act – a $2 trillion economic relief plan. The aim of this plan is to help millions of eligible Americans who have been negatively affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Also known as COVID-19, the pandemic has been wreaking havoc on global markets, and the US is no different.
One of the measures under this act is the coronavirus stimulus check, which will see many Americans get a cash boost to help them weather these tough times. In this article, we will be covering eligibility, how much you can get, as well as giving you an overview of other measures that might be applicable to you. Continue reading to learn more.
What is the Coronavirus Stimulus Check?
The Coronavirus Stimulus Check is a monetary assistance package being offered to eligible Americans to help them through this difficult time. The idea is to offer a cushion that softens the blow of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy. With restrictions put on movement and social isolation, jobs are being affected, which in turn hurts the economy.
By offering this check, the government is hoping to stimulate the economy. The economy works best when people are able to buy things and pay for services. This is the goal that the government is hoping to achieve by distributing this check.
Will I get a Coronavirus Stimulus Check?
The Coronavirus Stimulus Checks will not be given to everyone. There are a number of criteria that need to be fulfilled in order to receive one. The Tax Policy Centre does say that about 90% of all Americans are eligible for this special check, so most people will get one. To understand if you will get a check, you will need to satisfy the following criteria:
Coronavirus Stimulus Check Requirements
- You have a Social Security Number
- You have filed 2019 Tax return or 2018
- Earn less than $99,000 AGI (Adjusted Gross Income) if you’re single OR
- Earn less than $198,000 AGI (Adjusted Gross Income) if you’re married OR
- Earn less than $136,500 AGI (Adjusted Gross Income) if you’re head of household
If you do not have a social security number, have not filed tax returns, or earn more than the indicated threshold, do not worry just yet. Continue reading the article to learn more about any other options that might be available to you.
Who will not get one?
A number of people, which the Tax Policy Center estimates to be about 10% of the American population, will not get the stimulus check. There can be a number of reasons why someone will not get a stimulus check. We will cover this shortly. It is important to note that even if you do not qualify for a check in your current situation, there might still be a way for you to get a check. For those who still do not qualify, there are other measures that might be of help, which we will also be covering.
Those who exceed the Adjusted Goss Income will not qualify for a check. These thresholds have been set as follows:
- Individual earning $99,000 or more
- Married Couples earning $198,000 or more
- Head of Households earning $136,500 or more
How much will my check be?
How much you get will depend on a number of things. If you satisfy the eligibility criteria, then three things will determine how much you will get.
- Your tax filing status
- Adjusted Gross Income for 2019 or 2018
- Number of children
The maximum any one person will get is $1,200 for those with an Adjusted Gross Income of $75,000 or less if filing as an individual, $150,000 if filing as a married couple, and $112,500 of filing as a head of household. For every $100 over and above the minimum figure, you can expect your check to decrease by $5.00. If you have children, you will also get an additional $500 per child.
|Tax Filing Status: Individual|
|Declared AGI||Your Check Amount|
|$75,000 or under||$1,200|
|$99,000 or more||$0|
|Tax Filing Status: Married|
|Declared AGI||Your Check Amount (combined)|
|$150,000 or under||$2,400|
|$198,00 or more||$0|
|Tax Filing Status: Head of Household|
|Declared AGI||Your Check Amount|
|$112,500 or under||$1,200|
|$136,500 or more||$0|
When will I get my Coronavirus Stimulus Check?
According to Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury Secretary, most people should get their check around mid-April, but given this is the largest stimulus every distributed by the government, there could potentially be delays. When you actually get the money will likely depend on if you receive a paper check by post or have the money deposited to your account.
The Treasury Department will use the information provided in your tax return to issue the money. Of course, if you’re getting your money via direct deposit, it will arrive sooner. As a general rule, paper checks will typically add between 2 – 3 weeks for you to receive the money.
The IRS will also be launching a new website that will allow you to update your banking details in case these have changed since you filed your tax return. If this is the case, keep an eye open and update your information as soon as possible.
If you have changed your address, make sure you head to the IRS website as soon as possible to update your information. Use the Update My Information tool to update your address to the correct one to make sure you receive your check.
If you used a financial instrument such as a prepaid card or loan, you will receive a paper check in the mail.
Will I have to pay it back?
The check is not free money, but a tax credit on your 2020 tax return. This means that if your income goes above the AGI limits listed above (through a rise in income or a change of your status) you will have to pay it back.
How to make the most out of your check
Getting an extra boost may be really important to many people right now. In these difficult times, which can last for a while, being smart with your money can help you maintain a strong financial situation and weather the storm.
- Essentials: Buying and paying for essentials such as food, housing, and medical supplies should be the top priority.
- Debt: There are a number of measures where debt payments have been deferred. If you have debt that does not fall within these programs, making payments might save you from a lot of trouble down the line.
- Save: If you’re not struggling financially, saving the money can help you down the line should things get worse. It is likely that the situation we are in will last for quite some time, and thinking about the future can help you outlast this.
- Donate: If you’re in a strong financial position where the check is not going to make a difference, donating it might be a smart move. We will be able to get out of this sooner if we all work together. Helping others when you can do so can help everyone get back on track that much quicker.
What can I do if I am not eligible?
There are a number of other incentives being offered to help Americans through these difficult times.
EIDLs (Economic Injury Disaster Loans)
If you’re a small business owner looking for a cash injection, the SBA (Small Business Administration) is facilitating loans of up to $2,000,000.
IRA, 401(K) Early Withdrawals
If you or your spouse have been diagnosed with COVID-19, or have been impacted by the pandemic, you may be eligible to withdraw up to $100,000 from your retirement account without any penalties.
If you’re a homeowner paying a federally-backed mortgage and experiencing financial problems due to the pandemic, you may be able to request forbearance of up to 180 days.
Student Loan Relief
One of the measures being taken under the CAREs Act is the suspension of student loan payments. This will run until the 30th of September. No interest will accrue during this time. The Department of Education will be informing borrowers of this measure by the 11th of April.
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
If you’re a small business struggling to meet payroll, the Paycheck Protection Program can provide you with a loan that is twice the size of your monthly payroll, with an additional 25% on top. The loan maxes out at $10,000,000.
Paid Sick Leave
If you work with a company that has less than 500 employees, you may be eligible for 2 weeks of paid sick leave. This measure is being rolled out to those who cannot work due to coronavirus related illnesses.
Tax Filing Extension
It is also worth noting that the deadline for filing your tax returns has been pushed back by 3 months. The new deadline is the 15th of July 2020.
I don’t earn enough money to file a tax return, what can I do?
There are a number of people who do not need to file a tax return. This includes those who do not earn enough, senior citizens, recipients of Social Security, and eligible veterans. If you fall within this group, you will need to file a simple tax return with the IRS.
How will I know the check has been sent?
The bill states that you will receive a letter a few weeks after the payment has been sent. The letter will contain information about where the payment has been sent. If you cannot locate the funds as indicated in the letter, you should contact the IRS straight away.
I have fallen behind on my tax returns. What do I do?
If you haven’t filed your tax return for 2018, you might not receive the check that you would otherwise get. IRS recommends filing returns immediately. If you’re worried that you owe money which you cannot pay, you might want to consult with a tax professional as soon as possible.