Alexandra Sabalier
April 02, 2021
3 min

Q&A: All your questions answered about the stimulus payments

Stimulus Check FAQs

Here are some answers to common questions and concerns about all the approved stimulus payments up to date!

Am I eligible for a stimulus check and how much money should I receive?

The majority of Americans are eligible to receive stimulus checks in full or in parts. Individuals earning less than $75,000 or couples earning less than $150,000, or single head of household earning less than $112,500 are eligible for the full amount of each stimulus payment.

The payment amounts are all slightly different:

  • For the first stimulus payment: Eligible individuals receive $1,200, $2,400 if married and filing jointly, and an additional $500 for every dependent under 17.
  • For the second stimulus payment, households that meet the income requirement receive $600 for every adult and an additional $600 for each dependent child under 17.
  • For the third stimulus payment, eligible individuals receive $1,400, $2,800 if married and filing jointly, plus an additional $1,400 for each claimed dependent, including those that are 17 and over (e.g., college students who are still claimed as dependents, as well as older adults who may live with you and are claimed as dependents).

What do I have to do to receive my check?

All you have to do to receive your checks is file your U.S. Tax return!

Didn’t file a Tax Return? 
  • If you need to file your 2020 tax return: Contact me now to get your tax return filed and submitted to the IRS so that you can get tax compliant and take advantage of these stimulus payments that you have the right to receive!
  • If you live abroad and didn’t file U.S. taxes for previous years (2019 and before): You have a wonderful option to get compliant with the Streamlined Procedure package. Once you’re tax compliant, the IRS will send you your payments if you qualify.
  • If your worldwide income was lower than the tax filing threshold: You may still need to file a tax return this year (2021) to claim the payments that you missed by claiming the Recovery Rebate Credit.

When will I receive my check?

The IRS began transferring funds to bank accounts in late March 2020 if they had your U.S. bank account information.  Paper checks started to sent out by late March 2020. You can track your payment through the Get My Payment tool.
If your 2020 income differs substantially from your 2019 income, and the IRS needs to send you additional refunds, these will likely come later. The IRS has set a deadline of December 31, 2021, for sending out all checks.

What if I didn’t receive the first two stimulus checks?

If you believe you are eligible for these payments, but did not receive the first two stimulus checks, you need to file your 2020 taxes to claim the Recovery rebate Credit, which is a refundable credit that will be applied to your 2020 taxes for the amount you were owed but did not receive. By filing your 2020 taxes you will also demonstrate eligibility for the third stimulus check.

How do I check on the status of my payments?

You can check the status of your payments using the IRS Get My Payment tool or by checking your post mail, or your bank account in the U.S. if the IRS has this information and could've sent you the payments through Direct Deposit.

I am not eligible for a stimulus payment based on my 2019 income, but I am eligible based on my 2020 income. What should I do?

You must file your taxes soon, this way the IRS may be able to use your 2020 tax information to determine your eligibility, and send you all the payments you're eligible for. 

I received my payment, but it did not include payments for my dependents. What do I do?

If you did not receive the full amount you believe you were eligible for, including the amount for your dependents, you must file a U.S. 2020 tax return to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit and to receive a refund equal to the value of the missed stimulus payments.

If I had a child in 2020, can I claim the Recovery Rebate Credit to receive a stimulus payment for this child?

Yes. Any changes that took place in tax year 2020 that make you newly eligible for the payments, or eligible for a larger payment, you must file a U.S. 2020 tax return to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit and to receive a refund equal to the value of the missed stimulus payments.

I receive Social Security benefits. Do I need to file a tax return in order to receive my check?

If you receive Social Security Income or Supplemental Security Income, and you did not receive the first or second payment, but think you are eligible, you should file your 2020 taxes and claim the Recovery Rebate Credit.

Will the stimulus money be considered income that I have to claim on my taxes?

No, the stimulus check is treated as a refundable tax credit on your 2021 taxes.

Also, since  the stimulus checks are treated as a tax credit, they will not reduce your 2021 tax refund. This means your payment won’t be counted as taxable income and it won’t impact any other tax credits you receive.

If you need help filing your taxes this or any other year, contact me for an Initial Consultation to start working on your tax return and claim all the tax credits, refunds, and benefits that you qualify for!

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