IRS beginning to provide details on stimulus checks

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ/CNN/AP) – The first checks to individuals from the $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief stimulus plan approved last week by Congress could be arriving by the third week of this month, according to the Internal Revenue Service and other agencies involved in getting the checks in the public’s hands.

And the earliest checks likely will arrive to people who have a standing bank account with the IRS, especially if they have already paid taxes this year.

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Most people won’t have to do anything, according to details on the IRS web site, but that could be subject to change. The checks will be deposited directly into most people’s bank accounts.

But others, like those on Social Security and the disabled, may have to take some steps if they don’t normally file a return. And college students will depend largely on how they are treated for tax purposes by their parents.

And finally, owing back taxes to a state or the IRS likely won’t change your stimulus check but unpaid child support that already is on the books with the U.S. Treasury could impact stimulus checks in some cases, according to congressional summaries.

And the stimulus checks should not be confused with new unemployment benefits included in the stimulus because those plans largely are managed by the states.

To be eligible, people have to have filed taxes for 2018 or 2019. If a person did not file taxes for either year, the IRS says they should file quickly and include direct bank deposit information.
The tax filing deadline for this year has been pushed back to July 15, but the IRS said the stimulus payments will be available to tax payers through the end of 2020.
As has been widely reported, the largest checks go to people who made up to $75,000 and married couples making up to $150,000 will get the full stimulus payment of $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for couples. Parents will get an extra $500 per child.

“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,” the IRS said.

If the IRS doesn’t have a person’s bank account information, the agency is setting up an online system for taxpayers to provide direct deposit so they don’t have to wait on a check and the IRS doesn’t have to process one.

“In the coming weeks, 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 as opposed to checks in the mail,” the IRS site says.

Plenty of questions arise for people, including those on Social Security, some veterans and the disabled, who don’t normally have to file a tax return.

That will change this year. The IRS says they will have to file what is known as a “simple” return to receive an economic impact payment.”

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,” the IRS said.

College students who are still claimed as dependents by their parents will not get stimulus payments, and parents can only claim children under 17 as dependents.

College students who are not considered dependents will get a stimulus check like other taxpayers.