The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), among various provisions, includes an Economic Impact Payment to all U.S. residents who meet certain provisions.

The benefit is $1200 per individual, $2400 for a married couple filing jointly, and $500 per qualifying child being claimed as a dependent.

  1. U.S. citizens or U.S. resident aliens (including F-1 and J-1 visa holders who have become residents under the substantial presence test)
  2. Cannot be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return.
  3. Must have a U.S. Social Security Number (issued before July 15, 2020)
  4. Must have Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) below $75,000 for individuals, $112,500 for Head of Household, $150,000 for Married filing jointly to receive full amount.

Yes.  Individuals who are not U.S. citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents are required to file a $0 tax return to receive the payment.

No payment will be issued on a joint return unless both spouses have a Social Security Number. For the spouse with the Social Security Number to receive a payment, both spouses must file “Married filing Seperately”.

Direct deposit will be sent to the bank account shown on the 2018 or 2019 tax return that was filed.  If a paper check was received in 2018 or 2019, individuals can enter their bank routing number and account number by using the “Get My Payment” tool at https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment.  Otherwise a paper check will be sent to the most recent address on file at the IRS.

The bank will reject the payment and then the IRS will issue a paper check which will be mailed to the most recent address on file with the IRS.

You can use the “Get My Payment” tool to enter your bank information OR the IRS will mail a paper check to the most recent address on file with the IRS.

Enter your current address on the 2019 return when it is filed.

You can claim the payment when you file your 2020 tax return in Spring 2021. If you are a resident in 2019 but not in 2020,YOU WILL BE be required to repay in 2020 the $1,200.

What to do depends on whether the payment has been cashed or not.

Check has not been cashed:  Write “Void” on the endorsement section of the check, Mail the check to the IRS at the address listed for the city printed at the bottom of the check.  Include a note stating “Return of erroneous refund check” and explanation of why it is in error.  The address to mail the check is at https://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc161

Check has been cashed: Send check or money order to the IRS within 21 days to the address for the city printed at the bottom of the check.   Write “Payment of Erroneous Refund” and “2019” along with your Social Security Number or Individual Taxpayer ID Number.  Add a brief explanation of why the refund is in error.  Cashing the check could result in interest due.

Direct Deposit:  Contact the bank to have them return the money to the IRS.  Call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 or 1-800-829-4933 to explain why it is being returned.  Interest may accrue.