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U.S. Treasury details for distribution of COVID-19 direct payments

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Sat, Apr 11th 2020 10:30 am
Stimulus checks will soon be deposited. (Metro Creative Graphics)
Stimulus checks will soon be deposited. (Metro Creative Graphics)

Automatic payments begin next week

Congressman Brian Higgins detailed the U.S. Treasury’s plan for distribution of direct payments to Americans provided through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act approved by Congress on March 27.

The Internal Revenue Service will begin the process of sending payments to Americans by way of direct deposit next week. Those receiving direct deposits include: taxpayers who provided direct deposit information to the IRS in their 2018 and/or 2019 tax returns, Social Security retirement and Social Security Disability Insurance beneficiaries, and those receiving Railroad Retirement benefits. These payments will be made automatically for many with no further action required.

Higgins fought for and won agreement by the Treasury to automatically provide stimulus checks to senior citizens who are Social Security recipients, reversing course on previous directives that would have required seniors to complete forms to receive the COVID-19 relief payment.

The Treasury is currently not providing automatic payments to some Americans who do not file tax returns. People falling into this category may include those receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or disabled veteran benefits. Higgins objected to this hurdle and is continuing to fight to provide these individuals direct payments. However, at this time, for those that fall into these categories, the IRS has set up and electronic form to collect information for the distribution of payments. The form contains a few questions including: name, date of birth, Social Security number for you and dependents, and bank deposit information. A link to the free file form is available on the IRS website here: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/non-filers-enter-payment-info-here.

The IRS will disburse a $1,200 payment to every eligible adult ($2,400 for joint filers), plus an additional $500 per dependent child under 17. If you are a student over the age of 17 and claimed as a dependent, you will be ineligible to receive the direct stimulus payment at this time, however Higgins is supporting legislation to change that.

Payments gradually phasedown for individual incomes exceeding $75,000, $112,500 for head of households, or $150,000 for joint filers. Once income surpasses these thresholds, the check amount is reduced incrementally.

The IRS intends to have a “Get My Payment” portal available on its website by April 17, which will allow people to check on the status of their payments and/or update their direct deposit information. For additional information, visit the IRS direct payment webpage at: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payments.

Higgins’ team said, “Please beware of scams. The IRS reminds taxpayers they will not call, text, email or contact people on social media asking for personal or bank account information. To protect against fraud, the IRS plans to send a letter about the economic impact payment to a taxpayer’s last known address within 15 days after the payment is paid, providing secondary notification confirming you should have received a payment.”

For details on additional resources available to families, students, seniors, nonprofits and small business, visit Higgins’ dedicated coronavirus webpage at: https://higgins.house.gov/issues/coronavirus-disease.

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