Eligible retirees and recipients of Social Security retirement, disability (SSDI), survivors benefits, Railroad Retirement, or veterans benefits in 2019 will automatically receive $1200 stimulus checks following agreements between the IRS and the Social Security Administration (SSA), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Railroad Retirement Board (RRB). Recipients will not be required to file a tax return and will get the payment the same way they get their current federal benefits today – direct deposit, direct express debit card or in the mail.
When Will These Payments be Made
Multiple systems and processes need to be put in place to enable validating and processing these payments. Hence expect delays. Veterans and their beneficiaries who receive (C&P) benefit payments from VA should receive the $1,200 payment towards the end of April per IRS guidelines.
Those receiving Social Security retirement or disability benefits, Supplemental Security Income and Railroad Retirement benefits can expect to receive automatic payments of $1,200 from early May.
The Treasury Department via the IRS, not the VA or SSA, will make the automatic stimulus check payments.
Extra step needed to claim $500 child dependent stimulus
The CARES act also provided an additional $500 payment for those with qualifying dependents under the age of 17. For taxpayers who filed tax returns in 2018 or 2019, the qualifying child payments will be automatic. However for people who fall into the groups described in this article – VA, Social Security retirement or disability benefits (SSDI), Railroad Retirement benefits – an extra step is needed to add the $500 per child onto their $1200 stimulus check. They will need to register via the “Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info” available only on IRS website (see details). Otherwise the extra $500 payment (‘Plus $500’ as the IRS calls it) will be delayed to subsequent payment runs.
“The deadline is quickly approaching for these groups so they can get their maximum Economic Impact Payment of $1,200 and $500 for each eligible child as quickly as possible,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “These groups will get $1,200 automatically, but they need to act quickly and use the Non-Filers tool on IRS.gov to get the extra $500 per child added to their payment. Everyone should share this information widely and help others with the Plus $500 Push, so that more Americans get more money as fast as possible.”IRS
How do I get the $500 when I don’t file taxes
Per IRS, SSA and VA guidance many government program beneficiaries who don’t have to file taxes have used the non-filers tool to add their dependents. But while they got their adult $1200 stimulus check they didn’t get the extra $500 kid stimulus payment for their eligible dependents. This is a situation being experienced by many Americans with SSDI and VA benefits (see this article for details and comments from people in a similar situation). The IRS’ solution to this issue is for those impacted to claim this payment in 2021 when they file their 2020 taxes. However many SSDI, SSA and VA beneficiaries don’t file taxes – because they don’t make enough to file taxes! So they are stuck in a catch-22 situation.
This situation has created a lot of issues for many SSDI and VA recipients who needed the money asap and while there is no immediate solution is in place, it has been raised as an issue by several members of Congress. The IRS will hopefully put in a fix for this and is working with the SSA and VA agencies. So we will just have to wait till until there is an update that allows eligible recipients to get their money sooner. Otherwise filing a tax return (which should be free if your income is below IRS thresholds) may your only recourse to get his money – although much later than you would like to have received it. If you were ale to find a better solution or want to share your story, please leave a comment below.
IRS guidance on getting these checks
There has been some confusion around whether you need to do anything to receive this payment. Here are some scenarios and next steps outlined by the IRS.
If you have not filed a 2019 or 2018 tax return and are NOT required to file, and you do not have a spouse or qualifying children to claim:
You do not need to take any action. You do not need to contact the IRS, Social Security Administration (SSA), the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) or Veterans Affairs. The IRS will use the information from your 2019 benefits to generate a Payment to you. You will receive your automatic Payment as a direct deposit or by mail, just as you would normally receive your federal benefits. For example, if your benefits are currently deposited to a Direct Express card, your EIP will also be deposited to that card. If your benefits are currently deposited to your bank account, your EIP will also be deposit to that account. You can check Get My Payment for the status.
If you have already filed a 2019 or 2018 tax return:
You do not need to take any action if you already filed a tax return (this includes filing a joint return with your spouse). The IRS will use information on your tax return to determine if you are eligible for the Economic Impact Payment. If you haven’t filed a 2019 return yet but did file a 2018 return or if the IRS has not finished processing your 2019 tax return, we will send the Economic Impact Payment automatically using the information provided on the 2018 tax return. If your return included information on your direct deposit account for any tax refund, the Payment will be sent to the same account. You can check the Get My Payment application for the status of your Payment.
IRS won’t have direct deposit information if you owed tax, applied your refund to the 2020 estimated tax, or received a refund check instead of a direct deposit on the most recently filed tax return.
If you have not filed a 2019 or 2018 tax return and are required to file:
If you are required to file a tax return or plan to file to claim certain credits, you should file your 2019 return as soon as possible to receive your Economic Impact Payment. Consider using Turbotax to electronically file your return. Filing electronically and using the Direct Deposit option is the fastest and most secure way to get your refund and Economic Impact Payment.
If you don’t provide direct deposit refund information or owe tax when you file your 2019 return, the IRS will schedule your Payment to be issued by mail to the address you provide on the return.
Do not use the Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here tool if you are required or plan to file a 2019 tax return. Using the Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here tool will make it necessary for you to amend your tax return which, in turn, delays the processing of the tax return and any tax refund claimed on it. Moreover, a delay in processing of your tax return will lead to a delay in your Economic Impact Payment.
If you have not filed a 2019 or 2018 tax return and are NOT required to file, and you have a spouse or qualifying children to claim:
The benefit recipient will receive your automatic $1,200 Payment. If your spouse is also a benefit recipient, your spouse will also receive an automatic $1,200 Payment. If you did not register your spouse or a qualifying child using the Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here tool before your Payment was scheduled, you and your spouse will each receive an automatic Payment separately. The additional amounts for any qualifying child will be paid based on the 2020 return that you will file in 2021.
However, while the benefit recipient can no longer use the Non-Filers tool to add their spouse or qualifying children, people in this group may have a spouse who is not receiving Social Security, Railroad Retirement and VA benefits separately. To receive an Economic Impact Payment, an eligible non-beneficiary spouse may need to take action to receive their $1,200 Payment.
A non-beneficiary spouse of a benefit recipient can still use the Non-Filer tool to get their $1,200 and add any qualifying children if the spouse is an eligible individual and is not required to file a tax return, even if the benefit recipient missed an earlier deadline to do so. If eligible, your spouse may use the Non-Filers tool only if your spouse is not required to file a return for 2019 or 2018 and has not been issued their own Economic Impact Payment. Your spouse should enter information as a “Single” filer in the tool instead of Married Filing Joint.
Caution: Do not use the Non-Filer tool if you are required to file a return. This will delay your Economic Impact Payment and prevent you from filing your tax return electronically.
Note: Direct Express Account Holders: If you use the Non-Filers tool, you cannot receive your payment on your Direct Express card. You may only select a bank account for direct deposit or leave bank information blank and receive the Payment by mail.
If you were claimed as a dependent on someone else’s return:
You do not need to take any action. You do not qualify for the Economic Impact Payment; you can be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return. However, if you are not someone’s dependent in the 2020 tax year, you may be able to claim the credit by filing a 2020 tax return in 2021.
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