The IRS has a stimulus check for you – here is how to get it

The IRS has asked us at the National Association of Black Accountants to get the word out to the community (particularly those who do not usually file a tax return) so they know that $1,200 is waiting for them as part of the Economic Impact Payment (Stimulus program).  

Many people in the community do not know that they are entitled to this money whether they work or not.  They also do not know what they have to do to get this money.

There are many questions about the Economic Impact Payment (aka Stimulus Payments).  There is not a “one size fits all” answer, so you need to go to  https://www.irs.gov/  to get information that applies to you. 

Here are some things to know before going to website.

Eligible taxpayers with a filing requirement who haven't filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return must file 2019 to get the payment. File electronically and include direct deposit info to get it faster.

A sum of $1,200 will automatically go to recipients of Social Security, Railroad Retirement, Social Security Disability (SSDI and SSI) and Veteran's Benefits who don't normally file a tax return.

However, to add the $500 per eligible child amount to the payments, IRS needs dependent information before payments are issued. Otherwise, payment will be $1,200 and, by law, the additional $500 per eligible child would be paid in association with filing a 2020 tax return.    

Other people who don't normally file (including those with low or no income) should use the Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here tool (https://tinyurl.com/IRS-nonfiler) to give IRS information to get their payments.

Questions? IRS regularly updates its Economic Impact Payment tool (https://tinyurl.com/IRS-ecotool);  Get My Payment tool (https://tinyurl.com/IRS-payme); and FAQs (https://tinyurl.com/IRS-FAQs).  You can find these on irs.gov website or at those links.

Margaret Hines is a CPA who chairs the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program for the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA) in St. Louis.

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