What is the Coronavirus Stimulus Package, and When Should You Receive Your Payment?

The spread of COVID-19 in the United States has put millions of people out of work and has more than 17 million Americans filing for unemployment. The high rate of unemployment, the safety, economic, and health concerns for families and individuals is a top priority for the federal government.

Since the spread of COVID-19, the economy has started to decline, which led the federal government to release a $2 trillion stimulus bill to supplement the needs of qualifying Americans who may be suffering financially. Here's what the stimulus bill (also known as the "recovery rebate") means for you:

What is a stimulus check?

A stimulus check is sent to all United States taxpayers and those who qualify for unemployment and is meant to offset any monetary loss caused by the global pandemic. The maximum amount that will be distributed to individuals is $1,200, and for married couples is $2,400 with an extra $500 for each dependent child under the age of 17.

Who is exempt from the stimulus check?

Those who will not be included in the stimulus package are:

  • Children who are 16 years or older.
  • College students between the ages of 18 to 24.
  • Adults who can be claimed as dependents on someone else's tax form (which includes many college students).
  • Individuals who are earning more than $99,000 annually.
  • Married couples are earning more than $198,000 annually.
  • People who haven't filed their 2018 and 2019 tax returns.
  • Non-US citizens.

How soon will I get my stimulus check?

If you have direct deposit, then the stimulus checks are being distributed as early as April 9. As many as 70 million Americans should expect to receive their stimulus check by April 15 if they entered their direct deposit on their tax forms. Americans who are on Social Security retirement or receive disability benefits will also receive a stimulus check, even if they haven't filed a recent tax return.

What if I don't have a direct deposit, but I qualify for a stimulus check?

Paper checks will be distributed by April 24, and the last issued paper checks will be mailed out by September 11. There is a hierarchy of paper checks, and those who have less than $10,000 will be issued their checks first in late April. To see the stimulus paper check hierarchy, click here.

Will my stimulus check have any effect on my tax refund?

The stimulus check will not have any effect on your tax return for the year or the next. The stimulus check is a tax credit, meaning you will get your check, and it will not affect your tax return even if you owe taxes. The stimulus check is non-taxable, which means you can not include it in your 2020 income when you file your tax forms in 2021.

Does the relief package help defer federal student loan payments?

Yes, the relief package is deferring federal student loan payments until after September 30, 2020.

The federal income tax filing deadline is now extended to July 15, 2020!

If you would like more information about COVID-19 financial resources and recommendations, click here.

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