Question: Am I being unpatriotic if I use our $2400 to buy stock instead of buying some kind of consumer goods (shoes made in China, for example)?
Answer: Like many Americans, there may not be a need for a check but it is coming regardless. Unpatriotic may be a harsh word for doing what you feel is best with the money received.
Question: Will the stimulus checks to families occur automatically (based on their 2017 returns), or is there a website or something where we need to submit info?
Answer: The amount will be based on your most recent tax filings (either 2018 or 2019), and is not something that Americans need to opt into.
Question: Good morning Wes. How is income level being defined for the $1200 government payment? Does it include IRA distributions?
Answer: Your adjusted gross income will be used for 2019 if filed already, and 2018 if not. That would include distributions from an IRA or 401k.
Question: What if I did not get laid off, but my hours got cut and that caused me to make less money?
Answer: Section 2108 of the CARES Act – check with your local unemployment office to see what “short-time compensation” program exists in your state. Fed Gov’t will cover 50% of the start-up costs to those states that set up these programs, but you will need to check with your local unemployment location to see what they offer.
Question: What if was under the 2018/19 AGI income threshold, and I did get a Recovery Rebate check, and then my income actually went up in 2020, and I made more money which put me OVER income limit in 2020…. will I have to pay back the amount?
Answer: No, there will be no clawback, and you will get to keep it.
Question: What if I made too much in 2018/19 to qualify for the Recovery Rebate check? And now in 2020, I have been laid off and I will make much less. What assistance will I be eligible for?
Answer: Eligible for assistance in 2021 based on their 2020 income. Not eligible now. (With the largest ever spike in weekly unemployment claims ever at 3.3m between March 15th and March 21st 2020, there will be a lot of people in this same situation.)
Question: I am trying to help my elderly friend who has not filed taxes for a few years because she has such little income. Can she file 2019 taxes now to have an account, so the government can find her for the $1,200 which a single person will receive from the government do to issues with virus. She lives on very low social security and really needs the windfall. We have located all her documents (1099 from social security, tax bill, and one statement for a VERY small dividend) for 2019, but I can not find anything for 2018. Is there a way to find her 1099 and her other documents for 2018, OR will filing 2019 work?
Answer: Individuals who typically do not file a tax return will need to file a “”simple”” tax return for 2019 to receive an economic impact payment (low-income taxpayers, senior citizens, Social Security recipients, some veterans and individuals with disabilities who are otherwise not required to file a tax return).
I wouldn’t worry as much about the 2018 filing, as the 2019 filing will suffice. I would encourage you to continue to check www.IRS.gov/coronavirus as they will soon provide information instructing people in these groups on how to file a 2019 tax return.