Do You Qualify for a Coronavirus Cash Rebate?
You must meet ALL these conditions:
You must be a U.S. citizen or resident.
You must have a social security number. (Military spouse is OK with ITIN.)
Your must file a federal tax return for 2018, 2019 or 2020. Or, you must collect Social Security benefits in 2019.
You may not be a dependent on someone's else tax return.
Your "adjusted gross income" on the applicable tax return must be less than:
$99,000 if you file "single" or "married filing separately" with no children,
$136,500 if you file "head of household," or
$198,000 if you file "married filing jointly" with no children.
The amounts increase by $10,000 for each "qualifying child." A "qualifying child" is a dependent with a social security number, who is 16 years or younger on the applicable tax return.
The "adjusted gross income" is the number on line 8b (page 1) of your 2019 tax return or line 7 (page 2) of your 2018 tax return.
How much is your cash rebate?
The standard rebate is $1,200 or $2,400 (if married filing jointly).
The rebate increases by $500 for each qualifying child.
The rebate decreases if you earn more than $75,000 (single or married filing separately), $112,500 (head of household) or $150,000 (married filing jointly).
How does the IRS calculate your cash rebate?
The IRS uses your 2019 tax return if you file the 2019 return before the IRS calculates your rebate. Otherwise, the IRS uses your 2018 tax return.
If you have not filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return, the IRS uses your Social Security benefits if you collect Social Security benefits in 2019.
Otherwise, you will need to file a tax return for 2020 to claim the rebate.
If you file a 2020 tax return, the IRS will calculate the final amount of the rebate. If the final amount is more than the amount that you received in 2019, the IRS will pay you the additional amount. If the final amount is less than the amount that you received in 2019, you can keep the extra money.
When will the IRS pay your cash rebate?
The IRS will pay the rebate "as soon as possible."
If you file a tax return for 2020 to claim the rebate, the rebate will be paid in 2021 when the IRS processes your 2020 tax return.
The IRS will wire the rebate if it has your banking information. Otherwise, you should expect a check. If necessary, update your mailing address: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f8822.pdf
So, What Do You Need to Do NOW?
If you have already filed your 2019 tax return...
If you have not filed your 2019 tax return, but you filed a 2018 tax return...
Nothing unless your rebate is higher if the IRS uses your 2019 information. The rebate could be higher if you have a new dependent in 2019 or your income has decreased. If so, file your 2019 tax return as soon as possible.
If you have not filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return...
Nothing if you collect Social Security benefits in 2019. Otherwise, file a 2019 return as soon as possible before the IRS calculates the rebates. If that's not possible, file a 2020 return to receive the rebate in 2021.