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Stimulus Checks - Free Money?

Stimulus Checks - Free Money?

Confusion Regarding Stimulus Checks

There seems to be much confusion regarding the Economic Impact Payments, otherwise known as the stimulus checks. These checks are actually a tax rebate/credit for 2020. An advance of this credit is being made based on either the 2018 or 2019 individual tax returns. Then when 2020 tax returns are filed in 2021, the credit is reduced by the amount of the advance payment received in 2020. If the advance received is less than the credit to which the taxpayer is entitled, then the balance of the credit will be received when the 2020 tax return is filed. If the advance received was greater than the credit to which the taxpayer is entitled, the taxpayer won’t have to pay the excess back because the 2020 credit can’t be reduced below zero.

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For taxpayers who want to check the status of their stimulus check, go to the IRS website and click on Get My Payment or click here. You will need your social security number, date of birth and address.

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Under current IRS guidance, payment to someone who died before receipt of the stimulus check must be returned to the IRS. “Void” must be written in the endorsement section on the back of the check, a note must be included stating the reason for returning the check and the voided check should be mailed to the appropriate IRS location which is listed by state on the IRS website. There is some concern as to whether this was the intent of congress since, as indicated in the paragraph above, the law states that excess payments will not need to be paid back.

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For more information visit our COVID-19 Guidance Center.


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