QUESTION: About the $1,200 economic impact payment: I read that it’s for people with an adjusted gross income of $150,000. Is that for one person or two people? I haven’t gotten anything yet, and I know people that have.
ANSWER: The IRS website has a good question and answer section at www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payment-information-center .
The $1,200 payment is for an individual, a married person filing separately or head of household filers, if their adjusted gross income is up to $75,000 for an individual or a married person filing separately, or $112,500 for head of household filers. Married couples who file joint returns qualify for a $2,400 payment with an adjusted gross income of up to $150,000. Qualifying children get you an extra $500 per child.
Reduced payments go to: people with adjusted gross income of $75,000 to $99,000 if their filing status was single or married filing separately; people who file as head of household if their adjusted gross income is between $112,500 and $136,500; and people whose filing status is married filing jointly if their adjusted gross income is between $150,000 and $198,000.
ANSWER LINE NOTE: I’ve received several questions about the economic impact payments. I know they’re important to all of us. The IRS has been operating at limited capacity, like so many of our businesses while we respond to the pandemic. That also means it has extremely limited phone service, although that agency expects to start ramping services back up soon. I was unsuccessful in finding a phone number that would get you to a live person if you called right now.
Here’s some information I hope is helpful about the payments:
Through Friday, the IRS had made 130 million economic impact payments worth more than $200 billion. (Earlier this month, that included almost 11 million payments worth almost $18.8 billion in Texas.) Millions more payments are still expected to be made. Later this month in particular, the IRS expects to “sharply increase” the number of paper checks on its way to taxpayers. (That’s generally for people who didn’t file returns or who don’t have direct deposit information on file.)
I couldn’t get exact information from the IRS about a timeline for payments, but I did find this information on the House Committee on Ways and Means website:
Through May 11, the categories of people who already had received payments included: people who filed tax returns in 2019 or 2018 and for whom the IRS already had direct deposit information on file and people who provided direct deposit information through the “get my payment” site by April 29; or who have adjusted gross income of up to $30,000, didn’t file returns in 2019 or 2018 and submitted information through the taxing agency’s “non-filer: enter payment info” site by April 29; and Social Security and railroad retirement beneficiaries who received a 2019 Form SSA-1099 or Form RRB-1099.
The agency began issuing paper checks to people at the beginning of this month, at the rate of about 5 million per week. Checks were to be issued in “reverse adjusted gross income order.” That means people who make the least money get their checks first.
The IRS is notifying people by mail within 15 days after the receive their payment.
Finally, some of you asked about the error message you received while using the payment status tool online, at www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment. Here’s information the IRS provided me about possible explanations for error messages:
When verifying your identity: If the information doesn’t match IRS records, you’ll receive an error message. Double check the information your entered. Try entering the street address in a different way — “N” instead of “North” for instance. Use the postal services ZIP lookup tool, at tools.usps.com/go/zip-code-lookup.htm, to find the standard version of your address and use it in the get my payment tool.
When entering your bank information: if you receive an error when entering you adjusted gross income, refund amount or amount you owed, double check to make sure the numbers match your Form 1040 as originally filed. If the numbers from you 2019 return aren’t accepted, try the numbers from your 2018 return.
Finally, if you enter the wrong information three times in 24 hours, you’ll be locked out for 24 hours.