Who is eligible?

U.S. residents will receive the Economic Impact Payment of $1,200 for individual or head of household filers, and $2,400 for married filing jointly if they are not a dependent of another taxpayer and have a work-eligible Social Security number with adjusted gross income (AGI) up to:

  • $75,000 for individuals
  • $112,500 for the head of household filers and
  • $150,000 for married couples filing joint returns

Taxpayers will receive a reduced payment if their AGI is between:

  • $75,000 and $99,000 if their filing status was single or married filing separately
  • 112,500 and $136,500 for the head of household
  • $150,000 and $198,000 if their filing status was married filing jointly

*The amount of the reduced payment will be based upon the taxpayer’s specific adjusted gross income.

Individuals who receive Social Security, Railroad Retirement, disability or veterans’ benefits as well as taxpayers who do not make enough money to normally have to file a tax return will receive a payment. This also includes those who have no income, as well as those whose income comes entirely from certain benefit programs, such as Supplemental Security Income benefits.

Individuals who receive either Social Security retirement or Railroad Retirement benefits will also receive payments automatically.

Who is not eligible?

Although some filers, such as high-income filers, will not qualify for an Economic Impact Payment, most will.

Taxpayers likely won’t qualify for an Economic Impact Payment if any of the following apply:

  • Your adjusted gross income is greater than
    • $99,000 if your filing status was single or married filing separately
    • $136,500 for head of household
    • $198,000 if your filing status was married filing jointly
  • You can be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s return. For example, this would include a child, student or older dependent who can be claimed on a parent’s return.
  • You do not have a valid Social Security number.
  • You are a nonresident alien.
  • You filed Form 1040-NR or Form 1040NR-EZ, Form 1040-PR or Form 1040-SS for 2019.

What if I filed jointly with a spouse who does not have a Social Security number?

Individuals married to non-citizens who do not have an SSN, and file with an ITIN, will not receive the check if they file taxes jointly. If they filed as married filing separately, the citizen spouse should receive a payment, but only for themselves (and eligible dependents with SSN if they were claimed on the return).

How much am I getting? 

Eligible individuals with adjusted gross income up to $75,000 for single filers, $112,500 for head of household filers and $150,000 for married filing jointly are eligible for the full $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 married filing jointly. In addition, they are eligible for an additional $500 per qualifying child.

For filers with income above those amounts, the payment amount is reduced by $5 for each $100 above the $75,000/$112,500/$150,000 thresholds. Single filers with income exceeding $99,000, $136,500 for head of household filers and $198,000 for joint filers with no children are not eligible and will not receive payments.

Is there anything I need to do in order to receive my payment? 

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 action.

Individuals who receive Social Security (SSI or SSDI) or railroad retirees who have qualifying children, there is an additional step to receive $500 per qualifying child.  Individuals in this situation can make sure to quickly get their full economic-impact payment by utilizing the IRS special non-filer tool by Wednesday, April 22, 2020, at 11:00 am CST.

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 IRS.gov tool – Do I Need to File a Tax Return? – to see if they have a filing requirement.  

If you don’t have to file, use the “Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here” application to provide simple information so you can get your payment.

Where can I find out more about my payment? 

If you filed your 2018 or 2019 tax return and it has been processed, you can check Get My Payment for the status of your economic impact payment.

Can I use that portal to find out about my payment if I am not required to file a tax return?

Depending on your specific circumstances,  it may not be possible for you to access Get My Payment if you usually do not file a tax return. If your identity cannot be verified when answering the required security questions, you will not be able to use Get My Payment.

What if Get My Payment says “needs more information?”

This means that you are eligible for an Economic Impact Payment (EIP), but the IRS does not have your direct deposit information to send your payment electronically. You should provide your bank information once you have properly verified your identity. Make sure the routing number, account number, and account type are correct. You can find this information on one of your checks, through your online banking applications or by contacting your financial institution directly. Direct deposit is the fastest way to get your EIP.

If you choose not to provide your bank information or prefer to receive your EIP by mail, your payment will be sent to the address we have on file for you.

What if I have a new account since my last tax filing, can I update that information? 

Yes, in some situations. The IRS’s Get My Payment portal cannot update direct deposit bank account information after an Economic Impact Payment has been scheduled for delivery. To help protect against potential fraud, the tool also does not allow people to change direct deposit bank account information already on file with the IRS. However, people who did not use direct deposit on their last tax return to receive a refund, or if their direct deposit information was inaccurate and resulted in a refund check being mailed, will be able to provide that information and speed their payment with a deposit into their bank account.

If the bank account is closed, the bank will reject the deposit and you will be issued your payment to the address the IRS has on file for you. 

Avoid Scams During COVID

The IRS urges taxpayers to be on the lookout for scam artists trying 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.

Lone Star Legal Aid is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit law firm focused on advocacy on behalf of low-income and underserved populations. Lone Star Legal Aid serves millions of people at 125% of federal poverty guidelines that reside in 72 counties in the eastern and Gulf Coast regions of Texas, and 4 counties of southwest Arkansas. Lone Star Legal Aid focuses its resources on maintaining, enhancing, and protecting income and economic stability; preserving housing; improving outcomes for children; establishing and sustaining family safety and stability, health and well‐being; and assisting populations with special vulnerabilities, like those who have disabilities, or who are elderly, homeless, or have limited English language skills. To learn more about Lone Star Legal Aid, visit our website at www.lonestarlegal.org.

Media contact: Clarissa Ayala, cayala@lonestarlegal.org