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During the COVID-19 pandemic the LSNJ Hotline will remain open during its normal business hours. Our Hotline staff will be working remotely and you may encounter delays when calling.


LEGAL TOPICS
Federal Economic Impact Payments Are Now Available: Here’s What You Need to Know

Economic Impact Payments (EIP) are part of the Coronavirus Aid Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act legislation that Congress passed to help reduce the financial burden of COVID-19 on individuals and their families.

Who is eligible?

Tax filers with adjusted gross income up to $75,000 for individuals and up to $150,000 for married couples filing joint returns are eligible for the full benefit of $1,200 per individual or $2,400 per married couple. 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 $87,000 and joint filers with no children with income exceeding $174,000 are not eligible. Social Security recipients and railroad retirees are also eligible. Families are eligible for $500 for each child under 17.

Note: You must have a valid Social Security number and not be claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer.

Initially, incarcerated individuals were deemed ineligible for the EIP. However, the law changed and incarcerated individuals may now receive their EIP.

Implementation

The first series of checks and direct deposits were released. If you did not receive yours, you may call the IRS Stimulus Hotline at 800-919-9835. Or call LSNJ’s Tax Legal Assistance Project for further assistance at 888-LSNJ-LAW (888-576-5774), or see Taxes.

The second series of checks (in the amount of $600 per individual, $1,200 per married couple, and $600 per qualifying child under 17) are currently being distributed via debit card, paper check, and direct deposit. IRS emphasizes that there is no action required by eligible individuals to receive the second payment.

As with the first round of payments under the CARES Act, most recipients will receive their payments by direct deposit.  Social Security and other beneficiaries who received the first round of payments via Direct Express will receive the second payment the same way.

If you are eligible, but did not receive the first and/or second Economic Impact Payment this year, you will be able to claim it when you file your taxes this year. Even if you do not earn enough to have to file taxes, you must file to receive your EIP if you did not receive it otherwise. When you file the Form 1040 tax return, the IRS will have your correct information and can send your payment by direct deposit or by mail. Note that allowing direct deposit into a checking account is the quickest way.

How do I find out if the IRS is sending me a payment?

You can check the status of both your first and second payments by using the Get My Payment tool (from IRS.gov).

Is any action needed by Social Security beneficiaries, railroad retirees and those receiving veterans’ benefits to get the EIP?

Most Social Security retirement and disability beneficiaries, railroad retirees, and those receiving veterans’ benefits do not need to take any action to receive a payment. If you are eligible but didn’t receive a payment, you can file a 2020 tax return and claim it there as a rebate credit.

Where can I get more information?

More information about Economic Impact Payments and the 2020 Recovery Rebate will be posted on IRS.gov/eip. Check the status of your payment at IRS.gov/getmypayment. For other COVID-19-related tax relief, visit IRS.gov/coronavirus. ​

2/4/2021
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