The first wave of coronavirus stimulus payments of up to $1,200 apiece are on their way, arriving in bank accounts through set up direct deposit with the IRS.  Up to 150 million US residents may qualify for a payment.

If you haven’t yet received your one-time payment and haven’t set up electronic funds transfer with the government, setting up direct deposit may help you get your money faster. Otherwise, you can expect a paper check in the mail.

Is the money yours, free and clear?

Yes. You don’t have to pay taxes on any stimulus payment you receive from the IRS. It is also not an advance on your usual tax refund. If you get a check now, your 2019 tax refund won’t be smaller as a result. You can spend the total of your stimulus money just like cash.  Additionally, the funds received for those on Medicaid and SSI do not count toward eligibility for either program and the funds do not need to be paid to the nursing home.

Here’s who is eligible for a stimulus payment

The amount you’ll receive will depend on your total income in 2019 or 2018. If you qualify, you’ll receive one payment. Here’s who qualifies:

  • If you’re a single US resident and have an adjusted gross income less than $99,000
  • If you file as the head of a household and earn under $146,500
  • If you file jointly without children and earn less than $198,000
What about Social Security recipients?

The Treasury Department said that Social Security beneficiaries who are not typically required to file tax returns will not need to file a return to receive a payment. Instead, the IRS will use the information on Form SSA-1099 for Social Security beneficiaries who did not file tax returns in 2018 or 2019.

What about non-Social Security beneficiaries who have not been required to file a tax return?

For those individuals who haven’t filed a 2018 or 2019 return because they are under the normal income limits for filing a tax return, they can use the Non-Filers portal, to get their payment. To get started, go to the IRS’ Non-For Filers: Enter Payment Info Here site and tap the Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here button. As part of the process, you’ll enter personal information and, if you want to receive your stimulus check by direct deposit, banking information.

Setting up direct deposit of stimulus check

You will get your stimulus money faster if you have direct deposit set up with the IRS.  The IRS has recently launched its on line “Get My Payment” tool. This allows you to check the status of your economic impact payment, along with establishing direct deposit. The tool provides information about your payment status, payment type, and whether the IRS needs more information, such as a bank account and routing number. To use the tool, you will need to enter your name, Social Security number, date of birth, and address.

The “Get My Payment” tool can be accessed at www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment . Individuals not required to file a 2018 or 2019 tax return can enter their payment information at www.irs.gov/coronavirus/non-filers-enter-payment-info-here .