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CARES Stimulus Check FAQ

On Behalf of | Apr 21, 2020 | Firm News

The IRS is in the process of developing procedure for the issuance of stimulus payments as required under the CARES Act.  The procedures are evolving and the information below is based on what is known as of this date.  As always, it is best to check with your attorney for more specific questions.

Q: Where will the stimulus check be deposited?

            A: If you received a federal tax refund which was deposited directly into your bank account from your 2018 or 2019 federal tax return, the money will be automatically deposited in that account.

            If you mailed your 2018 or 2019 liability or received the refund via mail, the IRS will mail the stimulus check.

            If you already filed for 2018/2019 but did not provide bank payment information, or have only paid a liability (rather than received a refund) you can update your information here:

Q: What if I have not filed taxes in 2018 or 2019?

            If you were not required to file a tax return for either year, you can still fill out the necessary information to receive the stimulus check. The IRS has set up a website to assist with this:

Q: Who qualifies?

            A: The stimulus check is based on your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) and filing status.

If you earn the following:

·      Up to $75,000/single or married filing separately you will receive $1,200

·      Up to $112,500/head of household you will receive $1,200

·      Up to $150,000/married couples filing joint return you will receive $2,400


You’ll receive a reduced payment if your AGI falls between the following ranges:

·      $75,000 and $99,000/single or married filing separately

·      $112,500 and $136,500/head of household

·      $150,000 and $198,000/ married filing jointly

The  payment is reduced by $5 for each $100 above the $75,000/$112,500/$150,000 thresholds.

Q: What children qualify?

            A: Children under the age of 17 (as of December 31, 2020) qualify the filer for an additional $500 payment per child.

Q: My co-parent and I have joint custody and share parenting time, who is entitled the check for the minor children?

            A: Whoever was entitled to claim the minor children in 2019, either pursuant to a court order or IRS guidelines will receive the stimulus check for the minor child.

Q: What if we are separated but not officially divorced?

A: The stimulus check will be deposited based on the bank information the IRS has available.  If you have not yet filed your tax return for 2019, the IRS will use your information from your 2018 filing.  In the event of a dispute about who is entitled to this money, consult with your attorney for more specific information. 

Q: What if my co-parent was entitled to claim the children in 2019, but we have since significantly altered the parenting schedule and now I have substantially more parenting time?

            A:   While the stimulus check will be deposited into a bank account consistent with the information that the IRS has, this does not necessarily mean that the person who receives the check is entitled to 100% of the proceeds.  In cases like this, it is wise to check with your attorney for further guidance. 

However, given that the amount of the stimulus for children is small compared to the cost of litigation and attorney fees, this is a great time to be compassionate with your co-parent and see if you can determine a division of the check that makes sense for your situation. Does one of you need the money substantially more than other regardless of parenting time? (i.e. Has one of you lost your job and the other is still working?), Do you both need the money but one of you is carrying the load of parenting responsibilities currently regardless of what was happening in 2019?  Remember, this money is meant to help families through these trying times, just because the IRS says you are entitled to it, does not mean that is what has to happen.  Keep in mind what is best for your entire  family and most importantly, your child(ren).