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Last updated: 4/20/2020


At TaxAct, tax time is our chance to help you protect your financial health. This year, COVID-19 has added additional physical and mental health challenges for all of us, compounded by economic downturns.

We have consolidated your most frequently asked questions below.



Economic Impact (stimulus) Payment


Eligibility

According to the IRS, "U.S. residents will receive the Economic Impact Payment ... if they are not a dependent of another taxpayer and have a work eligible Social Security number with adjusted gross income up to:

  • $75,000 for individuals
  • $112,500 for head of household filers and
  • $150,000 for married couples filing joint returns

Taxpayers will receive a reduced payment if their AGI is between:

  • $75,000 and $99,000 if their filing status was single or married filing separately
  • $112,500 and $136,500 for head of household
  • $150,000 and $198,000 if their filing status was married filing jointly

If you qualify and filed a tax return in 2018 or 2019 (or if you have received Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits) you will automatically receive your payment.

You do not qualify if:

  • You are claimed as a dependent on another's tax return.
  • You don't have a social security number
  • You are a nonresident alien

To avoid fraud, the IRS is requiring you to file a tax return. You can fulfill this requirement by completing a TaxAct Stimulus Registration return.

No. You can still claim the child as a dependent but, similar to the Child Tax Credit, the $500 amount is only for dependents under age 17.

The IRS will use the AGI amount listed on your most recently-filed return. If you haven't yet filed a return for 2019, the IRS will use the information on your 2018 return. When you file your 2020 return, you will need to report the amount of stimulus payment you received. The IRS will then make sure you received the correct amount.

Action Needed

Yes. The IRS is requiring a tax return in order to prevent fraud. If you aren't typically required to file, you can use the TaxAct Stimulus Registration return to meet the requirement. If you filed a return in 2018 or 2019, or if you received Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits you don't need to take further action.

To help prevent fraud, the IRS is requiring everyone who receives a stimulus payment to file a federal tax return. If you are one of the estimated 14 million who wouldn't need to file otherwise, you can file a TaxAct Stimulus Registration return to meet the requirement.

If you have filed (or plan to file) a tax return for 2018 or 2019 you should not complete a Stimulus Registration return. You would be filing another tax return which will be rejected by the IRS as a duplicate.

Yes, but only if you didn't file in 2018 or 2019 (or don't plan to). If you did file a return in 2018 or 2019 and the IRS does not already have direct deposit bank information on file for you, use the newly-developed IRS Get My Payment tool to update your bank information.

If you didn't file in 2018 or 2019, and have no plans to file, you can enter your bank account information as part of the TaxAct Stimulus Registration process.

No. If you already filed a return, do not complete the Stimulus Registration. The IRS will reject it as a duplicate return. You can use the newly-developed IRS Get My Payment tool to provide bank information.

If you have no dependents, nothing. You will automatically receive your stimulus payment. If you do have a dependent(s), and didn't file in 2018 or 2019, file a TaxAct Stimulus Registration return by Wednesday, April 22 to receive the additional $500 now. If you don't file by then, you will receive the $500 (if you qualify) when you file your 2020 return.

Payment Amount

Use the following calculator to determine your amount:

  1. Start by determining your maximum credit
    • $1,200 for each taxpayer (Single/HOH = $1,200, Joint = $2,400)
    • Add $500 for each qualifying child
  2. Determine if the credit will be phased out
    • Single – Phase out starts at $75,000
    • Joint – Phase out starts at $150,000
    • HOH – Phase out starts at $112,500
    • Is your AGI over this amount?
      • No – your stimulus payment is the credit calculated in Step 1. Stop here.
      • Yes – go to Step 3
  3. Subtract the amount in Step 2 from your AGI
  4. Multiply Step 3 by 5%
  5. Subtract Step 5 from Step 1. This amount is your stimulus payment.

Yes. The IRS will not reduce your payment to cover any back taxes owed.

Yes. Since you filed a return, you will automatically receive a payment if you qualify.

If you are behind on child support payments, your stimulus payment could be reduced. Most other wage garnishments will not affect your stimulus payment.

Yes, but you may need to provide your bank account information to the IRS if you received a check (they will not take it from your check). You can use the newly-developed IRS Get My Payment tool.

Payment Receipt

The IRS will deposit the funds into your bank account if they have the correct information on file. If they don't, you'll receive a check in the mail. Just like tax refunds, TaxAct does not have access to your stimulus payment at any time and cannot control when the payment is issued. You can use the IRS Get My Payment tool to verify bank account information and track the status of your payment. Note: The IRS site is updated only once per day, typically overnight, so there is no need to recheck your status until the next day.

The Get My Payment tool is an IRS-run website, so TaxAct doesn't have a direct way to troubleshoot that for you. The IRS has posted Get My Payment Frequently Asked Questions to help explain what may be happening.

You can use the IRS Get My Payment tool to verify your bank information. If the direct deposit bank account on file with the IRS is not correct, there is no way to change it at this time. You will receive a check. If the IRS doesn't have your direct deposit bank information, you'll be able to enter that information (if your payment hasn't yet been issued). Note: The IRS site is updated only once per day, typically overnight, so there is no need to recheck your status until the next day.

If the IRS has direct deposit bank account information on file for you, there is no way to change it. If the direct deposit is not successful, you'll receive a check. You can track the status of your payment with the IRS Get My Payment tool. Note: The IRS site is updated only once per day, typically overnight, so there is no need to recheck your status until the next day.

Not according to IRS communication, but a small number of payments did get sent to Republic Bank. If you filed a 2019 return and your payment is sent to Republic Bank first, Republic Bank will send you a check. If your stimulus payment was sent to Republic bank and was based on a prior-year return, Republic Bank will return the payment to the IRS. The IRS will then send you a check.

Not according to IRS communication, but some payments did get sent to River City Bank. If that happens, River City Bank will use the client's preferred refund payment method to determine how to send the stimulus payment:

  • Check - If your client opted for a check, the stimulus payment will go out as a check from River City Bank.
  • Direct Deposit - If your client opted for direct deposit, the stimulus payment will be direct-deposited from River City Bank.
  • Direct2Cash - If your client opted for a Direct2Cash payment, the stimulus payment will be direct-deposited from River City Bank
  • Netspend card - River City Bank will issue the stimulus payment as a check.

If your refund wasn't direct-deposited, it's likely that the IRS doesn't have your bank account information or the information you submitted was incorrect. You can use the IRS Get My Payment tool to verify your bank information and check the status of your payment. Note: The IRS site is updated only once per day, typically overnight, so there is no need to recheck your status until the next day.

The IRS has not issued official guidance on that yet. You can use the IRS Get My Payment tool to verify bank account information and track the status of your payment. Note: The IRS site is updated only once per day, typically overnight, so there is no need to recheck your status until the next day.

Many payments have already been direct-deposited. You can use the IRS Get My Payment tool to verify bank account information and track the status of your payment. Note: The IRS site is updated only once per day, typically overnight, so there is no need to recheck your status until the next day.

No. You can use the IRS Get My Payment tool to update your bank information. Note: The IRS site is updated only once per day, typically overnight, so there is no need to recheck your status until the next day.

Filing Deadline and Tax Payment Extensions


Filing Deadline

The April 15 filing deadline is extended to July 15, 2020. You are subject to late filing penalties if you don’t file your return or request an extension by July 15, 2020.

No. The extension deadline remains October 15. That means that instead of extending your return for six months, extensions this year will cover a three-month period. As always, filing an extension delays only your time to file - you still need to pay by July 15, 2020.

Tax Payment

The April 15 payment deadline is extended to July 15. If you can't pay by then, file an installment payment agreement request by July 15, 2020. Tax payment penalties and interest will not be added before July 15, 2020.

You can request to set up an installment plan with the IRS. This must be completed on or before July 15, 2020.

Most states have complied with the IRS extension, but not all. See COVID-19 Response: State Deadlines Extended.

Our developers completed a federal update this week to fix that problem. If you are using our desktop program, make sure you have installed the latest update. To see if your state program has been updated yet, see COVID-19 Response: State Filing Deadlines Extended

Your tax payment will be withdrawn as scheduled. The extension will not affect the withdrawal date you already set up.

That depends on the current status of your return.

Additional Questions

If you e-filed, yes. If you mailed a paper tax return, probably not. According to the IRS website, "Certain IRS services such as live assistance on telephones, processing paper tax returns and responding to correspondence are extremely limited or suspended until further notice ... the IRS continues to process electronic tax returns, issue direct deposit refunds and accept electronic payments." To check the status of your tax refund, visit the IRS Where's My Refund page.

The IRS has extended the April 15 and June 15 estimated payment deadline to July 15, 2020. See Estimated Tax Payments - Electronic Funds Withdrawal for more information.

The deadline for IRA contributions are tied to the federal filing deadline, so you now have until July 15, 2020 to make contributions. You can find more information here: Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and workplace-based retirement plans.

Americans who live and work abroad can now wait until July 15 to file a return and pay taxes owed. You can find more information here: IRS News Release IR-2020-66.


Additional COVID-19 response topics


TaxAct Help: TaxAct Stimulus Registration | Everything You Need to Know About the Stimulus Payments | COVID-19 and your Taxes | COVID-19 Response: State Deadlines Extended

IRS Help: Get My Payment Frequently Asked Questions | IRS Filing and Payment Deadlines Questions and Answers | IRS Coronavirus Tax Relief page | CARES Act Full Text


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