Here's how to track your stimulus checks from the IRS

Published: Apr. 12, 2020 at 7:23 PM CDT
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The IRS says the first economic support payments stemming from the coronavirus outbreak have been deposited in taxpayers’ bank accounts.

NEW: Track your money

The IRS has launched an online portal for you to check on the status of your check. It also allows you to provide direct deposit information if the agency is missing that information from your account.

CLICK HERE to be directed to the page and click on the GET MY PAYMENT tab. The IRS said it will also be sending out letters to stimulus check recipients about 15 days after the payment to help Americans keep track of the status of their payments. "The letter will provide information on how the payment was made and how to report any failure to receive the payment," the IRS said. "If a taxpayer is unsure if they’re receiving a legitimate letter, the IRS urges taxpayers to visit first to protect against scam artists." Who gets the money? The first funds will go to people who have filed tax returns for the last two years and have authorized direct deposit. People on Social Security will also get their direct deposit payments automatically. Anyone earning up to $75,000 in adjusted gross income and who has a Social Security number will receive a $1,200 payment. Parents will also receive $500 for each child age 16 or younger. Dependents above the age of 16 will not be among the Americans receiving direct payments. That will include high school and college students between ages 17 and 24 if they are claimed as a dependent on someone’s tax returns, even if they normally work and file taxes themselves. That may strike many older children as deeply unfair — especially if their younger siblings qualify. But it also raises questions about whether the stimulus bill should have taken a broader approach, given that families with 17- or 18-year-old high school students may have the same expenses for them as a younger child of 14, for example. Some disabled adults are another group that could be cut out of the stimulus payments. That's because the bill excludes "adults who can be claimed as a dependent (say a disabled sibling or a frail parent)," noted Howard Gleckman of the Tax Policy Center. Individuals should consult the IRS or a tax advisor to address questions related to their individual circumstances. Paper checks Those without direct deposit information will receive paper checks in the mail. The checks will be issued in reverse order of adjusted gross income, meaning that people with the lowest income will get payments first. The first paper checks are expected to go out some time at the very end of April or beginning of May. The paper checks will be issued at a rate of about 5 million per week, which means it could take up to 20 weeks to get all the checks out. That timeline would delay some checks until the week of Aug. 17. Click here for more information and updates from the IRS. What if I have moved? If you have moved since you last filed, make sure the IRS has your new address by clicking here. If you don't usually file a tax return Some people may have to wait for weeks or even months before they see their money, including people who haven’t filed returns in the past two years. The IRS has launched a new tool to help those who aren't normally required to file returns. If you don't usually file a tax return, click here to submit your information to receive a payment. The free online form is so the IRS can identify you and your dependents, and receive valid address information about you. This information allows the IRS to calculate your eligibility and send you the Economic Impact Payment. Child support payments The Texas Attorney General has provided guidance online regarding your child support and the federal stimulus payment. Click here for more information. You can also go here for more FAQs. Newborn babies Parents of babies born this year will have to wait until next year to receive their $500 payment for the child. The child payment is based upon income taxes filed in either 2018 or 2019. Parents of a new child will likely get the $500 credit next year. I owe back taxes. Will that reduce my check? No. The payments won't be affected by taxes that you owe to the IRS or any other agency. You will still get the full payment. I am behind on student loans. Will that impact my check? No. Will I have to refund the money if my income rises? And will I owe taxes on it? No, according to tax experts. Technically, the stimulus checks are tax credits advanced from your 2020 tax return. They are similar to other refundable tax credits, like the child tax credit, which aren't considered income and which aren't taxable. Moreover, if the credit amount you qualify based on 2020 income is less than what you qualify for based on your 2019 tax return, it does not have to be paid back. How much will you get? Anyone earning up to $75,000 in adjusted gross income and who has a Social Security number will receive a $1,200 payment. That means married couples filing joint returns will receive the full payment — $2,400 — if their adjusted gross income, which what you report on your taxes, is under $150,000. The payment steadily declines for those who make more. Those earning more than $99,000, or $198,000 for joint filers, are not eligible. For heads of household with one child, the benefit starts to decline at $112,500 and falls to zero at $146,500. Parents will also receive $500 for each qualifying child. Beware of scams Criminals have already begun deceiving taxpayers through unsolicited phone calls, emails, text messages or other communications purporting to be from the IRS in attempts to steal these payments. Authorities warn taxpayers to be vigilant and alert to this potential fraud. · The IRS will deposit your check into the direct deposit account you previously provided on your tax return (or, in the alternative, send you a paper check). · The IRS will NOT CALL and ask you to verify your payment details. Do NOT give out your bank account, debit account or PayPal account information – even if someone claims it’s necessary to get your check. IT’S A SCAM! · If you receive a call, do NOT engage with scammers or thieves, even if you want to tell them that you know it’s a scam or you think that you can beat them. Just HANG UP. · If you receive texts or emails claiming you can get your money faster by sending personal information or clicking on links, DELETE them. Do NOT click on any links in those emails or texts. · Bogus checks are also being distributed. If you receive a “check” in the mail now, IT’S A FRAUD – it will take the Department of Treasury a few weeks to mail the legitimate checks to taxpayers. If you receive a “check” for an odd amount (especially one with cents), a check that requires that you verify the check online or by calling a number, IT’S A FRAUD. Individuals should consult the IRS or a tax advisor to address questions related to their individual circumstances.