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Answering your questions: Social security and stimulus checks

Obese population at higher risk for COVID-19 complications
Posted at 11:35 PM, Apr 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-22 23:49:32-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The U.S. Department of Treasury said the $1,200 stimulus checks hit millions of Americans' direct deposit accounts last week. But what about the rest of the checks? 7 Eyewitness News took your questions to EG Tax Services.

Q: How are these checks distributed?
A: "Well let’s see, we have 9 lines coming in here and most of the time at least 7-8 of them are lit up at a time," EG Tax Service's Tim Eliason said. He continued, "I would guess we’re probably getting in the neighborhood of 30, 40 maybe even 50 calls an hour." Checks are being distributed in stages. First direct deposit - a process that already happened for many. Eliason warns if you recently filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return give the IRS a few weeks to process it before you get a check. On Friday, Eliason said, the checks will begin to be mailed out. "They say that they can send out five million checks a week and what they’re going to do is start with income below $10,000, send those out. The next week, $10-20,000.”

Q: What about social security and stimulus checks?
A: Social security concerns and these checks are the most common questions Eliason fields. "The IRS has not merged the database from the IRS and social security yet to be able to give the information on those checks," Eliason said. He continued, "I don’t think it’s a matter that they’re left out, I don’t think it means they’re not going to get it."

Q: Who is ineligible to receive a check?
A: Any person who is claimed as a dependent will not be able to get a stimulus check. This includes students, children and older dependents. Children under 17 claimed as a dependent on their parent's tax return are eligble for a $500 child stimulus payment. Those with the following adjusted gross income greater than what's below from the IRS also will not be eligible:

  • $99,000 if your filing status was single or married filing separately
  • $136,500 for head of household
  • $198,000 if your filing status was married filing jointly

Other ineligibility requirements can be found here.

Q: What about babies born in 2020? Will families receive the $500 child stimulus payment?
A: "All the IRS has is your '18-'19 tax return. So obviously that baby that was born wasn't on the '19 return. The way the stimulus works is it's actually a credit...so what will happen for them is there is really no way for them to get that information to the IRS right now. But when they go to file their 2020 tax return, there will be a series of questions on the tax return and they'll be able to answer those and say hey here it is, did you receive this for baby y? Nope, check it. Then that $500 will be added to the refund on their 2020 tax return," Eliason said.

Q: Will you the money from stimulus checks be taxed?
A: "No. Again, that goes back to the whole thing that the stimulus is a credit. And all that credit is, is what would be called a refundable credit. You're going to get that credit as part of your refund towards your tax bill no matter what," Eliason said.

Q: How can you track stimulus checks?
A: Calling the IRS for help isn’t an option at this time. The easiest way is to check on “Get My Payment.” The IRS has an extensive FAQ section for those who may see an error message. Anyone not required to file 2018 or 2019 tax returns should complete the "Non-filers section" so the IRS knows where to send that check.

Experts say those who are still waiting on a check shouldn’t worry. It may take weeks even months to land in your mailbox, but it will come eventually. Although it can be frustrating, patience is the best practice.

For more stimulus answers, click here.