In response to the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, governments around the world have provided financial assistance to individuals and businesses. In the United States, the government has issued several rounds of stimulus checks, also known as Economic Impact Payments, to help alleviate financial hardship for those impacted by the pandemic. However, if you are wondering if you are eligible for a stimulus check and how to receive it, read on for a guide on the eligibility criteria for stimulus check and application process.’
Eligibility Criteria for stimulus check
The eligibility criteria for stimulus checks have evolved with each round of payments. Here are the general criteria for eligibility:
- Income: Individuals with an adjusted gross income (AGI) of $75,000 or less and married couples with an AGI of $150,000 or less are eligible for the full amount of the stimulus check. However, for individuals with an AGI over $75,000 and married couples with an AGI over $150,000, the amount of the stimulus check decreases gradually until it phases out completely for individuals with an AGI of $80,000 or more and married couples with an AGI of $160,000 or more.
- Dependents: In the first round of stimulus checks, dependents under the age of 17 were eligible for an additional $500. However, in subsequent rounds, dependents of all ages were eligible for the same amount as adults.
- Citizenship or residency: Individuals must be U.S. citizens or resident aliens with a valid Social Security number to be eligible for a stimulus check.
- Not claimed as a dependent: Individuals who are claim as a dependent on someone else’s tax return are not eligible for a stimulus check.
The application process for stimulus checks is relatively simple. In most cases, the government will automatically send the payment to eligible individuals based on the information they have on file from previous tax returns or Social Security records. However, if you did not receive a payment or did not receive the full amount, you may need to take additional steps to receive the payment.
- File a tax return: If you did not receive a payment because the government did not have your information on file, you may need to file a tax return to receive the payment. Even if you are not require to file a tax return, you may need to file a simple tax return to receive the payment. The IRS provides a tool called the Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here tool for those who do not normally file a tax return.
- Update your information with the IRS: If you receive a payment but it was sent to the wrong bank account or address, you may need to update your information with the IRS. You can do this by using the IRS’s Get My Payment tool.
- Claim the Recovery Rebate Credit: If you did not receive the full amount of the stimulus check or were not eligible for a payment based on your 2019 or 2020 tax return, you may be able to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit on your 2020 tax return. This credit will either increase your tax refund or decrease the amount of taxes you owe.
Stimulus checks have provided much-needed financial assistance to individuals and families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are eligible for a stimulus check, you will receive it automatically or may need to take additional steps to receive the payment.