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Highlight: CARES Act Stimulus Check Questions and Answers

The Senate voted on March 25th for the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, a $2 trillion stimulus package that will aid the United States while the COVID-19 pandemic is underway. Key elements of the proposal are $250 billion set aside for direct payments to individuals and families, $350 billion in small business loans, $250 billion in unemployment insurance benefits, and $500 billion in loans for distressed companies, as stated with CNN. For individuals who have been hit with the COVID-19 pandemic financially, you will soon be able to receive aid. This aid is intended to help stimulate income for individuals to pay necessary bills during this time. These necessary bills include: property payments, utilities, medical services, groceries, etc.

Not sure how this affects you? Here are some of the hard hitting questions, answered for you!

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How much will I get? 

Your income determines how much you will receive in aid. If you made less than $75,000 in 2019, you’d be eligible for the full payment of $1,200, as stated by NBC News. Couples who filed jointly and up to $150,000 will get $2,400. An individual who filed as “head of household” and earned $112,500 or less gets $1,200. For every child (under 17) in the household, the parent will receive an additional $500. 

For filers with income above those amounts, the payment amount is reduced by $5 for each $100 above the $75,000/$150,000 thresholds. Single filers with income exceeding $99,000 and $198,000 for joint filers with no children are not eligible, as stated by the IRS. 

Note: If you are claimed as a dependent, you will not receive the stimulus check. 

How do I receive the aid?

The IRS will calculate and automatically send the economic impact payment (stimulus check) to those who are eligible. Qualifying income levels will be based on 2019 federal tax returns, if already filed, and otherwise on 2018 returns, stated by CNN.

Note: If you did not file a return for 2018 or 2019, you will need to file a return for the 2019 tax year to receive the stimulus check, before July 15th.

When is the aid coming?

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Wednesday, March 25th; the checks will be sent out “within three weeks” to people whom the IRS has information, as stated with NBC News. If you have direct deposit set up, the payment will be deposited directly into the same banking account reflected on the return filed. 

Do I have to pay it back?

No. The money isn’t a loan, but credit. You are not required to pay the government back, as stated with NBC News. 

Are there scams going around?

As stated by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, if you receive calls, emails, other communications claiming to be from the Treasury Department and offering COVID-19 related grants or stimulus payments in exchange for personal financial information, or an advance fee, or charge of any kind, including the purchase of gift cards, do not respond. Contact the FBI at www.ic3.gov so that the scammers can be tracked. 

Fraud involving payment of Federal taxes should be reported to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.

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