Q: COVID-19 Federal Stimulus FAQ

Have questions related to the COVID-19 stimulus payments? Here are some answers we've found!

Many questions surround the payment process involved in the COVID-19 stimulus package (a.k.a. "CARES Act, or "economic impact repayment"). To address uncertainty over when payments will arrive, what form they will take, & your particular situation's payout, the following information has been pulled directly from federal government websites:

Fraud Awareness & Avoidance

  • Per the U.S. Treasury, the government will not be charging advanced fees for COVID-19 stimulus payments. If you receive a communication requesting your personal financial information & any type of fee, this is an attempt at fraud.
    • For more information from various government agencies on COVID-19 fraud avoidance techniques, head to USA.gov/coronavirus & scroll down to the Scams & Fraud section.
    • For more information on avoiding COVID-19 scams, check out these pages from the FTC & CFPB.
  • If you think you've been victimized by a COVID-19 scam, here are links to report the matter to the FTC & FBI.

Payment

  • If your payment has not arrived or is incorrect (failed to include dependents, etc.), check out this page from the IRS.
  • IRS.gov has provided this helpful list of answers which addresses a number of concerns, including (but not limited to):
    • Income & familial factors determining your payment amount - Income, filing status, dependents
    • Information used to generate & transmit your payment - This information is pulled directly from your 2019 tax return (or 2018 if you haven't filed for 2019)
    • Steps to take for those who aren't required to file tax returns, e.g. low-income taxpayers, seniors, social security recipients, etc.
      • For non-filing SSI or VA beneficiaries with children, check out this information from the FTC on the May 5th filing deadline
      • Payments are also available for non-filing individuals/families who are experiencing homelessness. Click here for more information & filing instructions from the IRS.
  • If you do not have access to your usual tax preparation resources, or do not typically have to file taxes, visit IRS.gov/coronavirus & scroll down to Tax Help for more information
    • Non-filers can enter their information here to submit their payment request to the IRS
    • Note: Due to staffing shortages, the IRS requests you visit IRS.gov/coronavirus for questions as opposed to calling their hotline
  • The IRS has stated it well mail a letter to a taxpayer's last known address within fifteen days following payment. This letter will include:
    • Information on how the payment was made
    • Instructions for reporting failure to receive payment

Small Business Assistance

  • The "Paycheck Protection Program" arm of the Cares Act includes up to $349 billion in lending aid for eligible small businesses, non-profits, self-employed workers, etc.

Additional Resources

  • USA.gov/coronavirus has provided a very thorough list of government responses to the pandemic
  • Visit CFPB/coronavirus for their advice on how to protect your finances
  • The CFPB also provides more detailed responses (updated 4/30 to reflect most recent infohere.
Last Updated: Apr 30, 2020     Views: 76
Answered By: Johnson County Reference