Where is my stimulus payment?

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Good day everyone!
So normally, I’d be celebrating the end of tax season today. But it has been postponed for 3 months. So instead, I have been busy reading and researching and trying to share information to my clients and friends about what is going on.
And first on the list for so many people are the stimulus payments.
Just because I sent you this message does not mean you will be receiving one. And please, do not ask me unless you have read everything below and are still unsure.

Who may qualify?

There are rules about who is eligible. So if your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) for 2018 or 2019 (if your return was filed earlier) was over the thresholds, you may not receive a payment or your payment may be reduced.
You won’t get a FULL stimulus check AGI is greater than:
  • $99,000, if your filing status was single or married and filing separately
  • $136,500 for head of household
  • $198,000, if your filing status was married and filing jointly
The phaseout from the full amount of $1,200 per person begins at:
  • $75,000, if your filing status was single or married and filing separately
  • $112,500 for head of household
  • $150,000, if your filing status was married and filing jointly
But I haven’t had a need to file a return because my income was low.
If you receive Social Security and have not had a need to file a return, you will still receive your funds direct deposited as normal. So do not worry.
If you have not had to file for a few years because your income was too low, you can file a free “Economic Impact Payment” return by clicking here. But remember, this is ONLY IF YOU HAVEN’T BEEN REQUIRED TO FILE. And who does that mean? From the IRS website:
  • You did not file a 2018 or 2019 federal income tax return because your gross income was under $12,200 ($24,400 for married couples). This includes people who had no income. Or,
  • You weren’t required to file a 2018 or 2019 federal income tax return for other reasons.
What if things changed (dramatically) in 2020 and I/we would have qualified?
The first thing to understand is that these payments are sort of an advance refund from your 2020 tax return. Yes … you might have to repay some of it when the time comes if your income rose substantially in 2020. But that’s something to worry about NEXT April 15.
The more common thing is you have had a child, lost a job, income decreased significantly … etc., things that were not taken into consideration when the stimulus payments were calculated. When you file your return for 2020, those things will be taken into consideration and if you are entitled to a stimulus payment or an adjusted amount, you will receive it then.
How will I receive the funds?
Here is where there will be issues.
If you have used direct deposit for refunds or debit for payments in the past, IRS has your bank information and will direct deposit those funds (some clients have told me they HAVE already received those credits).
If you have not had your bank information previously transmitted to IRS or do not receive Social Security payments direct credited, you will be getting a paper check.
Here’s the problem.
IRS has mostly very old computers, some going back to the 1970s. That is not a typo. 1970s. They cannot physically move more than 5 million checks a week. It was estimated that the paper checks will start going out on May 1.
But that date is now one week later.
President Trump wants his signature to be on the checks. Normally checks from IRS, the Treasury, would have the Secretary of the Treasury’s signature so it would not take any additional time. IRS is estimating the reprogramming will add up to another week to the issuance of the cjecks. Truthfully, I think it will not but I don’t work for IRS and I am not a programmer.
The bottom line is that paper checks are expected to take up to 5 months to be fully distributed.
When logging in to the “Get my payment” screen (below), you might be able to add or change bank account information. But it will “… not allow people to change direct deposit bank account information already on file with the IRS.”
Mark, you titled this “Where’s my stimulus payment?” and that’s all I want to know.
Opening today, IRS has launched a utility called Get My Payment and by clicking on this link, you will be brought to a page where you can enter in all sorts of information … presumably your name, Social Security Number, Date of Birth, and perhaps your AGI from either 2018 or 2019 to look up the status of your stimulus payment. I say “presumably” because I do not know for certain. As you might expect, there is high volume and as a result, you might get the message … “Due to high demand, you may have to wait longer than usual to access this site. We appreciate your patience.”
I hope this has been of some value to you in understanding what is happening in regards to these payments.
** In these uncertain times, be certain to WASH YOUR HANDS! **