New Yorkers that have been left out of pocket or out of employment as a result of COVID-19 are right now wondering what sort of relief they’ll receive from the government. The Senate has passed a $2 trillion economic rescue plan to assist, but you probably still have some questions – where is the money going, will you get any and how much?
To help give some direction, Roomi has gathered some common questions and aimed to answer them as accurately as possible, based on the current information we have access to.
What you need to know about stimulus payments
How much money will I receive?
The majority of adults will get $1200, although some may receive less if they earn above a set limit. Those that earn $99,000 or more may not be eligible for any of the stimulus package.
Families will also receive an additional $500 for every qualifying child aged 16 or under.
Will I receive the full amount?
The amount you receive is determined by your income. If you’re a single adult, are a resident of the United States and you have a gross income of $75,000 or less, you can expect to get the full amount. Married couples that earn up to $150,000 between them will also get the full amount.
For those with incomes above this, payments will start to decrease. Single people that earn more than $99,000 and married couples that earn in excess of $198,000 will not be eligible for anything, if they don’t have any children. Families with two children are also not eligible if they have a total income of $218,000 plus.
If someone claims you as a dependent, you also won’t get a cut of the package. Everyone must have a valid Social Security number in order to receive a stimulus payment.
I’m a college student – will I receive anything?
In the United States, students under the age of 24 are classed as dependents if a parent pays at least half of their expenses. So, if you’re a student and someone names you as a dependent, you won’t be eligible.
How can I check my adjusted gross income?
Go to Line 8b of the 2019 1040 federal tax return to check your adjusted gross income.
You should be looking at your income in 2019 to make an assessment. Haven’t prepared your tax return yet? That’s fine; you can use 2018’s. Those that still haven’t filed their 2018 tax return may be able to use a 2019 Social Security statement that shows your income as reported by your employer.
What if I anticipate a loss of income in 2020, but my 2019 income makes me ineligible?
That’s a tricky situation and right now, the bill doesn’t account for people that would be ineligible based on their 2019 income – even if you expect to lose money this year. Though you may benefit when you file your 2020 taxes.
There are other provisions in the legislation that may help you out in this kind of circumstance. For example, you may be able to file for unemployment or for one of the newly released loans that help small business owners or sole proprietors.
How can I apply to receive a payment?
There’s no need to apply. As long as the Internal Revenue Service has your banking information, the money will be transferred straight to you via direct deposit.
When will I get the payment?
It’s expected that most people will get their payments within 3 weeks.
If my payment doesn’t arrive within 3 weeks, how can I be sure it’s on the way?
Once your payment has been sent, you’ll receive a letter in the mail (which may arrive a few weeks after disbursement). That will let you know where the payment was sent and in what form. If you still can’t see the payment in your bank account, get in touch with the I.R.S – you’ll find their contact details on your letter.
I haven’t filed my tax return recently – will this affect my payment?
Potentially. It’s important that you’ve filed a tax return for 2018 at the earliest, because not having this on record could affect the mailings of the stimulus checks. Advice from the I.R.S is to file your tax return as soon as possible.
If you owe money that you’re unable to pay, contact a tax accountant who may be able to find a solution or a payment plan for you.
I receive Social Security retirement or disability payments – will I get a stimulus payment?
I’m unemployed – will I get a stimulus payment?
Yes; eligible unemployed individuals and veterans will receive the payment.
Will I have to pay income tax on my payment?
No – all stimulus payments are tax-free.
My income tax refunds are currently being garnished because of a student loan default – will the same happen with my stimulus payment?
No. Almost all efforts to garnish tax refunds in order to pay debts are being temporarily put on hold. This may not apply to individuals that are behind on child support.
Wondering how to keep yourself busy in the meantime? Here are some creative things you can do in self-isolation.