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Following the passage of the Coronavirus Aid and Relief Economic Security (CARES) Act immediate direct cash payments are available for lower and middle-income Americans.
The CARES Act provides for immediate, direct cash payments to lower-and middle-income Americans of $1,200 for each adult and $500 for each child, beginning to phase out at an annual income of $75,000 for an individual and $150,000 for a household. These payments will provide individuals with the cash they need right now to survive with much of the economy currently shut down.
People who opt to receive payments via direct deposit will begin to receive payments the week of April 13. Approximately 10 days later, Social Security recipients who did not file tax returns in 2018 or 2019 will begin to receive payments via direct deposit. Paper checks will be begin to be mailed out the last week of April. Lower income individuals will receive checks first.
People have three options for providing their direct deposit information to the IRS before a paper check is mailed. You can:
File your 2019 tax return and include the requested banking information on the return (if you are required to file a federal tax return in 2019 and have not yet done so);
File a simple tax form with a few questions, including the requested banking information (if you are not required to file a federal tax return); or
Provide your banking information in anew online portal (if you already filed a tax return in 2018 or 2019 without this information). This portal will be open the week of April 13.
You can find up-to-date information on the IRS's website.
Below is an FAQ regarding the $1,200 cash payments.
2020 Rebates: Most Frequently Asked Questions
Why is Congress proposing to pay rebates to individuals?
The public health and economic consequences of COVID-19 are significant. These rebates help Americans afford what they need during this public health crisis, as many are experiencing a significant cash crunch.
When will the rebates be distributed?
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will work to deliver rebates quickly in the form of advance payments. For people who filed a federal income tax return in 2018 or 2019, payment processing will be based on payment or address information already on file with the IRS. Electronic distributions will be automatic to an account the payee authorized January 1, 2018 or later.
How large are the rebates?
The amount of the rebate depends on family size. The payment is $1,200 for each adult individual ($2,400 for joint filers), and $500 per qualifying child under age 17. The advance payment of rebates is reduced by $5 for every $100 of income to the extent a taxpayer’s income exceeds $150,000 for a joint filer, $112,500 for a head of household filer, and $75,000 for anyone else (including single filers).
Do rebates need to be repaid?
No, rebates do not need to be repaid. If an individual experienced an income loss in 2020 or if they have an increase in family size, they may be able to claim an additional credit of the difference when the individual files their 2020 tax federal income tax return in 2021.
How will rebates be delivered?
It depends. Rebates will be delivered automatically—by the IRS—to most Americans who file individual federal income tax returns. When available, electronic direct deposit will be used in place of mailing a physical check.
Many individuals don't need to file a tax return. Are non-filers eligible for rebates?
Yes. There is no earned income requirement to be eligible for a rebate, but non-filers may need to take additional steps to receive their rebates. The Social Security Administration will share information for Social Security (Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance) beneficiaries with IRS to help ensure these beneficiaries receive an automatic advance payment. The IRS will conduct a public awareness campaign to reach other non-filers and provide them with information on how they can access rebates.
How will a person who has recently moved access rebates?
The IRS will determine payment delivery systems for everyone entitled to rebates.
Will the rebates affect my eligibility for federal income-targeted programs?
No, the rebate is considered a tax refund and is not counted towards eligibility for federal programs.
What identification requirements apply to receive rebates?
Taxpayers must have Social Security Numbers for themselves and their qualifying children in order to receive rebates.