Why is My Economic Impact Payment Different than Expected?

Some taxpayers are receiving their Economic Impact Payments to discover that the amount is different than expected.

Eligible individuals should receive a payment for $1,200 and if two eligible individuals file a joint return they should receive $2,400. If eligible individuals have a qualifying child they should receive up to an additional $500 for each qualifying child who meets the conditions outlined on the IRS Qualifying Child Requirements page.

The Economic Impact Payment is automatic for eligible people who filed a tax return in 2018 or 2019. They’re also automatic for individuals who receive the following benefits:

  • Social Security retirement, survivor or disability benefits
  • Railroad Retirement benefits
  • Supplemental Security Income
  • Veterans Affairs benefits

If you received a check that was not the amount you expected, you can check the payment chart provided by the IRS to determine the correct check amount. There are also some common items that may be causing the difference:

  • If you haven’t filed your 2019 tax return, the payment will be based on 2018 income. This could also apply if you filed 2019, but the IRS has not completed processing the return.
  • Qualifying children must be under the age of 17. The child’s age is how old they are at the end of the year for the tax return on which the IRS bases the payment amount. If a dependent is 17 or older, they don’t qualify for the additional $500.
  • Past-due child support can offset the amount that you should receive.

Eligible taxpayers who received a payment that was smaller than expected could receive the additional amount when they file their 2020 federal income tax return next year. More information can be found in the IRS Economic Impact Payment Information Center.

Have questions? Need more information? Schedule a free consultation today!

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