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What you need to know about your COVID-19 relief check

Stimulus direct deposits are targeted to begin this week, with the first wave of payments processing as early as Wednesday, April 15.

This is part one in a three-part series.

Click here to view Part 2.

Click here to view Part 3.

You may be wondering when and how you will receive your stimulus check from the CARES Act.

Stimulus direct deposits are targeted to begin this week, with the first wave of payments processing as early as Wednesday, April 15. The IRS will process additional waves each week until everyone who is eligible receives their relief funds.

As the relief checks begin to arrive, we want our members to be as informed as possible.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau states that for many people, the stimulus payments will be directly deposited into their accounts or sent via check. However, if it’s sent by check you may not receive it as soon as a direct deposit.

Payment recipients should watch for an IRS letter. For security reasons, the IRS plans to mail a letter about the economic impact payment to the taxpayer’s last known address within 15 days after the payment is paid. The letter will provide information on how the payment was made and how to report any failure to receive the payment. If a taxpayer is unsure that they’re receiving a legitimate letter, the IRS urges taxpayers to visit first to protect against scam artists.

We’ll break down how the stimulus checks will affect taxpayers:

People who filed a tax return for 2019 or 2018

No additional action is needed by taxpayers who:

  • have already filed their tax returns this year for 2019. The IRS will use this information to calculate the payment amount.
  • haven’t filed yet for 2019 but filed a 2018 federal tax return. For these taxpayers the IRS will use their information from 2018 tax filings to make the Economic Impact Payment calculations.

People who aren’t typically required to file a tax return

Social Security and Railroad Retirement recipients who are not typically required to file a tax return need to take no action. The IRS will use the information on the Form SSA-1099 and Form RRB-1099 to generate Economic Impact Payments of $1,200 to these individuals even if they did not file tax returns in 2018 or 2019. Recipients will receive these payments as a direct deposit or by paper check, just as they would normally receive their benefits. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) recipients are also part of this group who don’t need to take any further action.

For Social Security, Railroad retirees and SSDI who have qualifying children, they can take an additional step to receive $500 per qualifying child.

There are other individuals such as low-income workers and certain veterans and individuals with disabilities who aren’t required to file a tax return, but they are still eligible for the Economic Impact Payments. Taxpayers can check the tool – Do I Need to File a Tax Return? – to see if  they have a filing requirement.

The IRS will soon provide guidance for these individuals on the steps to take to get their payment as soon as possible.

What can I do if the IRS does not have my direct deposit information?

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.

For more information, visit the IRS website at this link.

Avoid possible scams

Be on the lookout for scam artists who may try to use the economic impact payments as cover for schemes to steal personal information and money. Remember, the IRS will not call , text you, email you or contact you on social media  asking for personal or bank account information – even related to the economic impact payments. Also, watch out for emails with attachments or links claiming to have special information about economic impact payments or refunds.

Remember, if you believe you’ve been the victim of a COVID-19 fraud scheme, please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the COVID19 Fraud Coordinator (see the DOJ link here), or your state or local authorities.

You can also contact AmFirst by visiting this link.