Coronavirus Stimulus Checks 2020 FAQ: Your Questions Answered


ST. LOUIS – Stimulus checks are on the way.

Some Americans saw the money automatically go into their bank accounts on Monday. As of Wednesday, the Treasury said 80 million people had deposited the money directly.

The average person gets $1,200, but payments can go as high as $2,400.

5 On Your Side has already received many questions about who qualifies for the coronavirus stimulus checks, how much people can expect and what to do to ensure you get a check. That’s why we’ve teamed up with the experts at the St. Louis-based accounting firm Anders CPAs and Advisors.

If you have a question about stimulus checks, Text 5 on your page at 314-444-5125. This is a plain text line. We will do our best to forward your questions to the experts at Anders. We’ll be sharing your questions and their answers on the newscasts throughout the week.

5 On Your Side will continue to update this story as more questions are answered.

Stimulus Check Resources:

My husband passed away in December and we filed taxes for 2018 and 2019 together. I got a $2,400 stimulus check. Do I have to pay back $1,200 of that?

As it stands today, the IRS only looks at filing status and adjusted taxpayer gross income for the 2019 (or 2018, if necessary) calendar. The IRS does not require a refund once the stimulus money is received based on the tax return used to determine the amount. So if you receive $2,400 based on the IRS-audited tax return, you don’t have to pay any of it back.

If I have a payment plan with the IRS and payments are being debited from my bank account, do I still need to do anything to get my stimulus check?

No, nothing further is required as the IRS Payment Plan and the IRS Stimulus Checks are not related. The CARES Act suspends virtually all efforts to seize tax returns to pay off debts, including those to the IRS. If you contact the IRS, they will offer to suspend installment payments from April 1 through July 15. If you would like to take advantage of this option, we recommend contacting your bank to stop automatic draft payments for each payment plan.

Can people affected by homelessness be eligible for a stimulus check if they don’t have a mailing address?

While anyone can qualify for the stimulus check, the individual must meet certain income restrictions, have a valid Social Security number, and cannot be claimed as a dependent by anyone else. However, individuals must have their bank account information and mailing address on file with the IRS in order to receive payments, which can be updated online. Those who are unsure whether they filed this information with the IRS or have not filed income tax in the past two years can update their information with the IRS at irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payments.

Therefore, if a person experiencing homelessness does not have a current address and cannot access one through a friend or family member, we encourage them to contact their nearest homeless support organization to see if she can help. The same advice applies if they don’t have access to a bank account.

Can college students who have jobs and filed taxes for 2019 get a stimulus check?

If children, including some college students, can be claimed as dependent on someone else’s return, they are not eligible for the stimulus check. Given that, any college student who is claimed as a dependent would not receive a check. However, if you are not claimed as a dependent (regardless of whether you are a student or not), you may qualify if you meet the other criteria. This has been a common question from our customers and you can find this and more answers like this in our COVID-19 Resource Center on our website anderscpa.com.

If I had my taxes prepared by a company that issues a refund to a debit card, will my stimulus check be deposited there or in my checking account?

While it appears that the IRS has considered issuing stimulus payments by debit card, it has been decided that the stimulus checks will only be deposited directly into bank accounts on file with the IRS or mailed to taxpayers at their last address of record, if you don’t have a bank account on file with the IRS. Therefore, if your last bank account on file with the IRS is the account used by your accountant’s bank for your debit card refund, we recommend updating your bank account information on file with the IRS so that your stimulus check is routed to a different account. This can be done on the IRS Economic Impact Payments website.


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