$600 stimulus checks arriving ‘as early as tonight’ while increase to $2,000 stalls in Senate
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin tweeted Tuesday referring to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tool "Get My Payment" for status updates.
"This second round of payments will be distributed automatically, with no action required for authorized persons," the finance department said on Tuesday. "If additional laws are passed to provide a higher amount, the payments issued will be charged as soon as possible for economic impact."
The current round of stimulus payments, which is part of a new stimulus agreement worth $ 900 billion, should be completed by January 15, according to the law. As of Wednesday, around $ 10 million is expected to be sent every week to recipients with no direct deposit information on file with the IRS.
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The direct payments are $ 600 per person (and $ 600 for any dependent under the age of 17), with the potential increase in payments to $ 2,000 currently blocked in the Senate. If legislation increases the level of incentives, additional payments are made.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin testifies during a hearing before the Supervisory Board of Congress on December 10, 2020 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. (Photo by Sarah Silbiger / POOL / AFP)
On Monday, the Democratic-controlled House passed the Caring for Americans with Complementary Aid (CASH) Act to increase the amount of direct payments from $ 600 to $ 2,000 and to add the additional dependents bonus of any subordinate under the age of 17 to each dependent expand age.
On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) blocked an anonymous approval vote on the $ 2,000 stand-alone stimulus review legislation called for by Senate Minority Chairman Chuck Schumer (D-NY).
McConnell later introduced a bill that combined both the $ 2,000 stimulus checks and the repeal of Section 230, an Internet law of 1996 that protects the platform from legal liability for user-generated content. Both calls are backed by President Trump, but Democrats who oppose the repeal of Section 230 are unlikely to hold it together.
"Senator McConnell knows how to turn $ 2,000 survival checks into reality, and he knows how to kill them," Schumer said in a statement Tuesday. "When Senator McConnell tries to load the bipartite CASH Act with unrelated, partisan provisions that do absolutely nothing to get families into trouble."
U.S. President Donald Trump's name appears on Economic Aid coronavirus scans sent to citizens across the country on April 29, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)
Who gets a stimulus check?
For the second round of stimulus reviews, the IRS will primarily use 2019 tax returns to determine eligibility for a direct payment.
Social Security Beneficiaries, Disability Insurance Beneficiaries, Supplementary Insurance Income Beneficiaries, Railroad Retirement Board Beneficiaries, and Veterans Service Providers are eligible for payment even if they have not filed a 2019 tax return.
Eligible taxpayers who used the IRS non-filer tool for the first round of checks will be treated as tax returns and will also receive payments.
Payment will be reduced by $ 5 for every $ 100 of additional income over $ 75,000 for single adults and $ 150,000 for married couples. Single adults with no children who earn between $ 75,001 and $ 87,000 and married couples with no children who earn between $ 150,001 and $ 174,000 receive reduced payments. The exit thresholds change depending on the number of children in the household. A family of four will not receive a check if their income exceeds $ 198,000.
The deceased can also receive payment. Checks go to all eligible taxpayers who were alive on January 1, 2020.
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Who doesn't get a check?
Individuals without a Social Security number and non-resident aliens - those who are non-US citizens or US citizens and who do not have a green card or have failed the attendance test - are not eligible for direct payments.
Married taxpayers who jointly file when one spouse has a Social Security number and one spouse does not have a Social Security number will receive a payment of $ 600 in addition to $ 600 per child with a Social Security number.
Adult children whose parents claim they are tax-dependent are also not eligible.
How will the government send you the stimulus check?
The IRS uses direct deposit information from taxes filed for 2019.
Americans may be able to use the IRS's non-filers tool to provide information like the first round. So far, however, the IRS has not yet announced whether this tool will be available this time.
The tool was intended for eligible U.S. citizens or permanent residents who had gross income less than $ 12,200 in 2019 ($ 24,400 for married couples) and who did not need to file a federal tax return for 2019.
If you did not provide any direct deposit information or the specified account is now closed, the IRS will send the stimulus payment via email.
If you haven't received a payment and believe you are eligible or have received the wrong amount, you can claim it on your 2020 tax return.
Do you have to repay the stimulus check?
No, you don't have to pay it back. It also doesn't reduce the refund you would otherwise get.
"No, there is no provision in the law that requires a payment to be repaid for economic impact," the IRS website said of the first round of checks.
If you were supposed to receive a larger sum based on your 2020 income but received a reduced amount based on your 2019 income, the government will pay you the difference when you file your 2020 taxes.
If your payment is too high due to your 2020 income, you will not be responsible for repaying the difference.
Denitsa is a writer for Yahoo Finance and Cashay, a new personal finance website. Follow her on Twitter @denitsa_tsekova.
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