WASHINGTON — New information from the IRS on Monday shines more light on what people can do to get the checks from the government as quickly as possible while many families worry about paying the bills and buying food during the coronavirus crisis that has cost millions of people their jobs.
For Americans eligible for stimulus cash under the new relief law, the fastest way to receive it is to make sure they've filed a tax return for 2019 or 2018 with bank information so the government can directly deposit the money.
The IRS says it will use a person's 2019 return to calculate eligibility and automatically send the money to those who qualify. If they haven't filed a 2019 return, it'll be based on the 2018 return.
The agency said it would publish additional information about the new forms soon on irs.gov/coronavirus.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has said he hopes to have the money flowing to Americans with three weeks of the passage of the $2 trillion stimulus plan late last week.
Payments up to $1,200 per person, with an additional $500 per child under 17, will be made to U.S. residents with a Social Security number who earn under $75,000. The amount decreases by $5 per every $100 earned after that, zeroing out at $99,000. For married couples, the phaseout range is $150,000 to $198,000.
The IRS said Americans who weren't required to file taxes in the last two years will have to file a "simple tax return" with basic information like filing status, number of dependents and bank information so the government can send the money.
"Low-income taxpayers, senior citizens, Social Security recipients, some veterans and individuals with disabilities who are otherwise not required to file a tax return will not owe tax," the IRS said.