As part of the recently enacted Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021, the Treasury Department will distribute stimulus checks of up to $600 for singles and $1,200 for married couples filing a joint return. In addition, those with children will receive an additional $600 for each qualifying child. Dependents who are 17 and older are not eligible for the child payment.
The initial direct deposit payments will begin arriving as early as December 29, 2020 for some individuals and will continue into the first week of January. Paper checks will begin to be mailed Wednesday, December 30, 2020.
Taxpayers with direct deposit information on file with the IRS will receive the payment that way. For those without current direct deposit information on file, they will receive the payment as a check or debit card in the mail. For those eligible but who don’t receive the payment for any reason, it can be claimed by filing a 2020 tax return in 2021. As a reminder, the Economic Impact Payments are an advance payment of what will be called the Recovery Rebate Credit on the 2020 individual income tax return.
Payments are automatic for:
- eligible taxpayers who filed a 2019 tax return,
- Social Security retirement, survivor, or disability benefits (SSDI) recipients,
- Railroad Retirement benefits recipients,
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Veterans Affairs beneficiaries who did not file a tax return.
- Individuals who successfully registered for the first payment online at IRS.gov using the agency’s Non-Filers tool by November 21, 2020, or
- Individuals who submitted a simplified tax return that has been processed by the IRS.
Generally, if you have adjusted gross income for 2019 up to $75,000 for individuals and up to $150,000 for married couples filing joint returns and surviving spouses, you will receive the full amount of the second payment. For filers with income above those amounts, the payment amount is reduced.
People can check the status of both their first and second payments by using the Get My Payment tool. The tool is being updated with new information, and the IRS expects the tool to be available again in a couple days for taxpayers.
Taxpayers will receive an IRS letter after they receive their stimulus payment confirming the amount of their payment. This letter should be retained for the taxpayer’s records and 2020 tax filing.