Posted by Carmen Garcia

Top Three Reasons You Didn’t Get a Stimulus Check

Top Three Reasons You Didn’t Get a Stimulus Check

The current COVID-19 pandemic that has been affecting millions of American people that lead them to file for unemployment which 30 million already did and more in the future. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economy Security (CARES) Act is a $2 trillion stimulus package is the effort of the Congress to keep afloat the Americans’ financial distress. 

If you find yourself not one of the people who will get what the CARES Act provided which is a stimulus payment (those $1,200 max checks you heard about) while most individuals received, below are three reasons why you didn’t.

1. Your previous tax returns make you ineligible even if you are unemployed now

It’s normal to reel at the thought of not receiving aid in your time of need especially if you are ineligible because you had too much on the 2019 taxes that you filed last year plus you are currently unemployed. It’s indeed frustrating but though not immediate, in the stimulus bill there is a provision that gives the assurance that you will get a stimulus check. 

You will be able to claim the stimulus on your 2020 tax return if your income is lower because you got unemployed or you have fewer gigs. This means that for you to receive it, you need to wait for a year. 

For individuals who are in need of cash now, that is not helpful at all. Some banks are offering cash assistance to customers, so if you are in need of immediate financial assistance and have financial hardships due to COVID-19, they are providing assistance such as mortgage relief, payment arrangement programs, and more.  Additionally, until the end of September, federal loan payments are being suspended by the Department of Education without any interest. 

Since most of the country is ordered to successfully file for unemployment or to shelter in place right now, this money could keep you afloat while looking for a home-based gig or job. 

Here’s another thing you need to know: it might be possible for you not to return the money to the government anymore if you will make more money this year and will end up in the phase-out category. The stimulus checks are technically tax credits that you are being paid in the year 2020. 

2. You weren’t able to update your bank account information

Considering that you checked all of the other boxes to qualify, not being able to update your information doesn’t mean you won’t ever get a payment. But if you received the stimulus money very late, then this might be the reason. 

The bank account that you listed on 2019 tax returns (or if you have yet to file for last year, then 2018) is where the stimulus checks will be deposited directly. The IRS will send a physical check to your most recent address on file if there is no bank account on file. For the physical checks to arrive at the households, some experts estimate it could take months. 

Taxpayers can now update their banking account information using the online tool that the IRS launched called “Get My Payment”.

“Get My Payment” is the tool that the IRS launched so that taxpayers will have a way to update their banking account information. May 13 at 12 p.m., ET is the deadline for taxpayers to add their bank information. Your check will be sent to whatever address you have on file with the IRS if you weren’t able to update or add it before the deadline. 

A notice of payment should be sent by the Treasury to the last known address in accordance with the law. In case you will not receive the payment, you can contact the IRS using the number that is being provided in the notice. 

3. You owe money

It is indeed uncomfortable if you are in the situation that you owe money. The government will come after debtors to offset the money owed most of the time. Past due bills such as bank debts, child support, and private debt collection can be covered by the stimulus checks (though a new rule is now being implemented in some states to prevent private debt collectors from seizing stimulus checks). But your stimulus check will not be used as an offset in situations such as defaulted student loans, past-due taxes, and anything handled in bankruptcy proceedings.

Carmen Garcia
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