$2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bailout—nothing to sneeze at! (By Damon Carr)

by Damon Carr, For New Pittsburgh Courier

The Donald! WHAT A CHARACTER! One thing is for certain, The Donald isn’t Trump-tight with his words when it comes to dissing reporters and the media. One quote he said which was clever—after being asked by a reporter and I paraphrase, “do you think you downplayed the virus by referring to it as the flu?” The Donald clapped-back with some facts about the “Spanish flu” that plagued the world back in 1917 and 1918—then he said, “A flu is nothing to sneeze at!” Yo—that tickled me “Orange!”

Being fair, action speaks louder than  words. What a person does carries more weight than what a person says. We can agree that President Trump might have been late in terms of reacting to this Pandemic. However, actions taken and bills passed as a result of this Pandemic promotes preservation of life over production of dollars. I for one, can’t argue with that.

In this article, I’ll like to highlight some of the key benefits about the Stimulus Check or the Economic Impact Payment in the 880 Page Coronavirus Stimulus Bailout—more properly known as CARES: Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security ACT.

Economic Impact Payment

US Residents will receive $1,200 for individual or head of household filers and $2,400 if married filing jointly. An additional $500 will be awarded for dependent children under the age of 16. Payment begins to phase out for individuals whose income is between $75,000 – $99,000, Head of Household whose income is between $112,500 -$136,500 and Married Filing Jointly whose income is between $150,000 -$198,000. For filers with income above those amounts, the payment amount is reduced by $5 for each $100 above the $75,000/$112,500/$150,000 thresholds. For example—An individual tax filer with adjusted gross income of $87,000 and 1 child under the age of 16 benefit will be reduced by $600. They will receive $1,100. That’s $87,000 minus $75,000 = ($12,000) divided by 100 multiplied by 5 = ($600).

Filers earning more than the respective threshold get nada—NOTHING! Single filers with income exceeding $99,000, $136,500 for head of household filers and $198,000 for joint filers with no children are not eligible and will not receive payments. If you earn over the threshold and still have qualifying children eligible for $500—NOTHING!

Eligible retirees and recipients of Social Security, Railroad Retirement, disability, veterans’ benefits and taxpayers who are not required to file a tax return because of low income or no income will receive a payment. This also includes those whose income comes entirely from certain benefit programs, such as Supplemental Security Income benefits.

You’re not likely to receive a check if: You were claimed as a dependent on someone’s return, you do not have a valid Social Security number, or you’re a non-resident alien. Key point here. older adults with fixed income of any kind that is claimed as a dependent on someone’s tax return—normally their adult child—GET NOTHING.

What do you need to do to claim your stimulus check?

No action is needed by taxpayers who have already filed their tax returns in 2018 or 2019. The IRS will use this information from most recently filed tax return between the two years to calculate the payment amount.

No action is needed for Social Security and Railroad Retirement recipients who are not typically required to file a tax return. The IRS will use the information on the Form SSA-1099 and Form RRB-1099 to calculate the payment amount.

How will stimulus checks be paid?

If you received a tax refund as a direct deposit or by paper check, you’ll receive your stimulus check the same way. If you owed taxes and had a payment plan in the past and IRS doesn’t have checking account details on file. You’re likely to receive a paper check. There’s talks about the IRS building a web portal so that people whose account detail isn’t on file with the IRS can add info for faster delivery of stimulus payment.

For Social Security recipients, Railroad Retirement recipients, low income and no income filer who were not required to file taxes and have qualifying dependent under age 16, they can take an additional step to file a simple form to receive $500 per qualifying child. Low income and no income individuals who have not filed in past years should file a return to have something on file with the IRS to avoid getting nothing.

We’ll break down other components of CARES in future articles:

(Damon Carr is the owner of ACE Financial.  He can be reached at 412-216-1013)

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