Still waiting for a $600 stimulus check? This is what you need to know – Community News
Stimulus Check

Still waiting for a $600 stimulus check? This is what you need to know

Millions of second stimulus checks are being deployed to help Americans struggling during the coronavirus pandemic.

Still, some may wonder, “Where’s my money?”

A new set of payments was approved by Congress with the latest $900 billion corona aid package.

This time, the checks are up to $600 per person, or $1,200 per married couple, plus $600 per child under 17.

By contrast, the first incentive checks sent out last year included up to $1,200 per person, $2,400 per married couple, plus $500 for eligible dependents.

Those who have already registered their direct deposit information with the IRS will be the first to get their money.

If you haven’t received your check in early January, the agency advises you to keep an eye on your mail for a paper check or debit card.

Still, some people may worry that they have been overlooked and want to do something about it.

Check your eligibility

To start, check that you still meet the money requirements.

The income limits for checks have remained the same. So individuals with adjusted gross income up to $75,000 or couples with $150,000 are eligible for full payments.

The checks are gradually being phased out for incomes above those levels, but this time those limits are lower. Individuals with incomes of $87,000 and married couples with $174,000 receive no payment. In contrast, the first payments were completely discontinued with incomes of $99,000 for individuals and $198,000 for couples.

So if you got a lower benefit last time, you may not get any money this time.

The new $600 checks are based on 2019 tax returns, while the first round of checking was based on 2018 or 2019 returns. So if you got a first incentive check based on your 2018 tax return and your income increased in 2019, you would reduced or no incentive benefit.

Many admission restrictions have remained the same. For example, if you are of legal age and dependents are claimed, you will not receive a check.

What to do if you are still waiting?

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If you are concerned about receiving your money, the IRS urges you to file your 2020 tax return as soon as possible, after which you will receive a credit for the money.

The IRS will generally begin accepting returns later this month.

People who have changed addresses or bank accounts since they received their first stimulus check should plan to claim the credit when they file their tax returns this spring, because the IRS can’t reissue those payments.

People who typically don’t file tax returns should also plan to file their money unless they already provided that information to the government last year.

Those who receive federal aid through Social Security, railroad retirement, or veterans’ benefits should generally get the money automatically. If they don’t, they are also encouraged to file a tax return this year.

The credit is calculated in the same way as the incentive checks, but is based on income data for 2020. People who have not received a stimulus check or a partial stimulus check can apply for the credit by submitting Forms 1040, an individual tax return, or 1040-SR, a senior citizen return. to submit.

It remains to be seen whether the IRS will issue additional guidance for non-filers. Last year, the agency offered a tool online that allowed those people to submit their information to get their incentive payments.

That site is currently closed. For now, the IRS has no plans to reopen it.

“You might expect that if there were a lot of concerns, they could make that tool available again,” said Janet Holtzblatt, senior fellow at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center.

If someone used that tool last year, they should automatically get their second stimulus check.

“In general, my advice to everyone is to submit electronically and submit early,” Holtzblatt said.

More from Personal Finance:
$2,000 stimulus checks are possible after Democrats win Senate majority
Some people get debit cards for their $600 incentive payment
Your second stimulus check may be delayed if you changed banks or moved

On the other hand, the Get My Payment tool has opened where individuals can check the status of their payments.

Some people have complained that they receive a “Payment Status Not Available” message when they try to use that site.

That notification will show up until your check is issued, according to the IRS. It doesn’t necessarily mean you’re not eligible for the money.

The IRS urges people using the tool to be patient.

“There is a limit to the number of times people can access Get My Payment each day,” the agency states on its website. “When people have reached the maximum number of entries, Get My Payment will inform them to come back the next day.”

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