Who qualifies for the COVID-19 Stimulus Checks?
On 27th March 2020, the US President Donald Trump had signed the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act into law. This CARES Act also led to the initiation of a $2 billion Stimulus package which can be said as the largest emergency relief bill passed in the history of America so far.
A part of this Stimulus package includes cash payment to the eligible Americans which has been termed as “Stimulus Check” by common people and as “Economic Impact Payment” by the IRS. Technically, Stimulus checks is an advanced tax credit meant to offset an individual’s federal income taxes for 2020.
So, now there are numerous queries related to the eligibility of obtaining Stimulus checks popping up in the minds of the Americans.
Who is eligible to obtain Stimulus checks?
The basic eligibility for obtaining Stimulus checks from the US Government can be summarized below.
- You must be a US citizen or a US National or a US resident alien.
- You must not have been claimed as a dependent on the tax return of someone else.
- Your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) in 2018 or 2019 should be below the threshold for your filing status.
- You should have filed a tax return for the year 2018, 2019 or should have Social Security Benefit Statement, or Form SSA-1099, or Form RRB-1099 or Social Security Equivalent Benefit Statement.
The Stimulus Check payment which would be obtained as per the AGI threshold can be summarized as below.
a.A single individual or married but filing tax returns separately
- If your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) is below $75,000 then the Stimulus Check received would be an amount of $1200.
- In case of your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) being more than $75,000, the amount received as Stimulus Check would be reduced by $5 for every $100 increase in the AGI above $75,000.
- You would also receive an additional $500 for each qualifying child who is below the age of 17 years.
- In case your AGI is above $99,000 and no qualifying children are claimed, there would be no Stimulus Check obtained.
b.Married couples filing tax returns jointly
- If you are married and filing tax jointly with an AGI which is less than $150,000 the Stimulus Check received would be $2400.
- In case the AGI is more than $150,000 the Stimulus Check would be reduced by $5 for every $100 increase in the AGI above $150,000.
- You can also obtain an additional $500 for each qualifying child who is below the age of 17 years.
- In case the AGI is above $198,000 and no qualifying children are claimed, there would be no Stimulus Check obtained.
c.Individuals filing tax returns as the “Head of Household”
1. In this case, if the AGI is less than $112,500 the Stimulus Check received would be $1200.
2. In case the AGI lies in between $112500 and $136500 the Stimulus Check would be reduced by $5 for every $100 increase in the AGI above $112,500.
3. You would obtain an additional $500 for each qualifying child who is below the age of 17 years.
4. In case the AGI is above $136,500 and no qualifying children are claimed, there would be no Stimulus Check obtained.
Qualifying criteria for a dependent to receive the Stimulus payment
- You must be claiming your dependents in case of your tax returns.
- Your dependents must be below the age of 17 years.
- Your dependents should be a US national or a US citizen or a US resident alien.
- They must be related to you either by blood, marriage or by adoption.
- Your dependents must have lived with you for at least half of the year.
Moreover, some more additional information related to the qualifying criteria of dependents can be noted below.
- Your dependent must have a valid Social Security Number (SSN) to qualify for the receipt of Stimulus payment.
- There is no limit on the number of dependents who can be eligible for obtaining the additional $500 in Stimulus check from a particular household.
- In case you are claiming your child as a dependent and your child also files his tax then he would be qualifying for an additional $500 payment as your dependent. He would not be considered eligible for his Stimulus payment.
- In case you have not filed your 2019 tax return and your dependent was 16 years while filing 2018 returns, then he is eligible to obtain the $500 Stimulus payment.
Hence, with the Stimulus Checks being an effective method to overcome the financial crisis caused by COVID-19 it is advisable to file your 2019 tax returns soon if you have not done so yet.