Citizens of the United States face financial strain in addition to other tolls imparted by the coronavirus pandemic. Non-essential workers have been without work for weeks and the number of COVID-19 induced deaths continues to increase. While doctors fight on the front lines day and night to save as many coronavirus patients as possible, the federal government is seeking to provide financial relief to Americans. The first form of assistance the government will provide are stimulus checks to tax filing Americans. By April 15th, millions of Americans will receive direct deposits from the federal government and many had already received their deposits by Friday April 10th.
Batches of payments are currently being distributed from the Federal Reserve to financial institutions across the nation. Financial institutions will distribute payments into the bank accounts of tax filing Americans. This first round of relief is available to all Americans who filed taxes in 2018 or 2019 and received a direct deposit tax refund.
Tax filers who did not receive a direct deposit refund in the 2019 tax year will be able to receive a relief payment using the “Get My Payment” app which is set to launch next week. Using this app, tax filers can submit their bank account information to the IRS to receive a direct deposit relief payment.
Individuals who did not file taxes may log onto the IRS website and click on the “Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here” section which will allow them to enter their bank account information for direct deposit rather than waiting for a relief check in the mail.
The Treasury Department is working to process payments for Social Security and certain retirement recipients who did not file taxes in the last tax year. These payments will be directly deposited within the next few weeks.
Compared to the 2008 financial crisis, during which stimulus checks took several months to be distributed, relief checks for the coronavirus pandemic have been distributed rapidly and the Trump administration has worked with great efficiency to financially assist impacted Americans.
The relief checks, which are available under the CARES Act, will provide individuals up to $1,200, will provide couples who filed their taxes jointly up to $2400, and will provide an additional $500 for each child under 17 claimed on taxes.
For individuals who earn $75,000 a year or couples earning more than $150,000 a year, the relief decreases by $5 for every $100 of income above the previously stated amounts. This means that individuals earning $99,000 or more and couples earning $198,000 or more will not receive relief checks.
Relief payments are not taxable income.