In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the government is sending $1,200 to single taxpayers with income less than $75,000 ($98,000 with phaseouts). $2,400 is being sent to married taxpayers with income less than $150,000 ($198,000 with phaseouts). An additional $500 is being sent for each child under the age of 17. The payments are based on 2019 or 2018 tax returns, so if you did not need to file a tax return for either of these years, you run the risk of not receiving this payment.
To address this problem, the IRS created two websites designed to help taxpayers. The first helps people who were not required to file a tax return in 2018 or 2019, and the second helps taxpayers track the status of their stimulus payment.
Non-filers: If you are not required to file a 2019 and/or a 2018 tax return, visit https://www.freefilefillableforms.com/#/fd/EconomicImpactPayment and submit your information so that the IRS can identify you and your dependents, receive your direct deposit information, and calculate your eligibility.
Payment status and direct deposit registration: The IRS also created a new website called “Get My Payment” that allows taxpayers to register to receive their payment via direct deposit. Visit https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment. You can also use this tool to review the status of your stimulus payment.
Who should use the website for non-filers
If you fall into one of the following categories, you need to review whether it makes sense to use the website for non-filers mentioned above:
Not required to file. If you are not required to file a tax return in either 2018 or 2019 but otherwise qualify to receive a stimulus payment, using this tool or other tax filings is the only way to receive the payment.
College students. If you are not a dependent on someone else’s tax return, you need to look into using this tool. If you are a dependent, it may also be worth a conversation to see if you can or should change your filing status in 2019 in order to receive this payment.
Seniors. Seniors that do not file tax returns in 2018 or 2019 will eventually receive the payment based upon their Form 1099-SA or railroad retirement information. The non-filer site asks you not to register, but you may receive the payment sooner AND protect your identity from would-be thieves by filing a tax return.
Who should NOT use the website for non-filers
Do not use the website for non-filers if you will be filing a 2019 return. If you are required to file a return, using this tool will not speed up your stimulus payment and will likely slow down processing of your tax return and receiving any refund.