If you’ve heard about the Coronavirus checks the Trump Administration is getting ready to mail to Americans and are wondering if you are going to be eligible for it, you’ve come to the right place.
In this post, we will explain the proposal currently before Congress to mail checks to Americans to help deal with the effects of the Coronavirus disruptions.
We will explain who is eligible for the checks and how the government plans to mail the checks.
In addition, we will explain whether people on Social Security, Disability or low-income individuals and families who did not pay much or any taxes last year will get a check.
Would you be eligible for Coronavirus checks?
Here is a summary of the proposal currently being put forward by Congress.
The Plan by Senate Republicans
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell released his plan that calls for rebates of $1,200 for most individuals who reported less than $75,000 on their 2018 tax returns, or $2,400 per couple who filed their taxes jointly and made less than $150,000.
Another $500 would be added for every dependent child.
Who Qualifies for Checks under Senate GOP Plan?
Under the plan put forward by the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, payments would be based on income.
Individuals making up to $75,000 annually and married couples filing a joint return with an income of $150,000 would get the full $1,200.
However, Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer does not think the proposal by Mitch McConnell is adequate.
What Qualifies as Income?
Income is defined as wages, Social Security benefits, and any pension income.
If you make between $75,000 and $99,000, you will get a fraction of the $1,200.
For individuals, the sum of the payment would fall by $5 for each $100 earned over $75,000.
In addition, individuals making over $99,000 and couples making over $198,000 would not get a check.
However, payments would reduce to $600 (or $1,200 for married couples) for taxpayers who have little or no income tax liability but have at least $2,500 in qualifying income, according to a GOP summary of the plan.
The Plan by the Democrats
Democrats, especially liberals from the House think the problem is much worse and requires bigger action.
Therefore, liberals in the House of Representatives are proposing a first payment of $2,000 per American. That will then be followed by subsequent payments in the coming months.
Another Democratic proposal from the House of Representatives calls for an emergency Earned Income Tax Credit in the form of checks of up to $6,000 to Americans who made under $65,000 last year,
More than three-quarters of American workers would qualify for the package.
The proposal by the Trump Administration
The Treasury Secretary has proposed a $500 billion payment to Americans, to be paid in two separate payments – with each person’s exact amount determined by their income and family size.
The first wave would be $1,000 per person and $500 per child.
Coronavirus Checks FAQs
Here are the frequently asked questions about the Coronavirus checks
When are the checks coming?
The Treasury Department proposal called for payments to be issued April 6 and May 18.
However, that depends on how fast Congress can agree on a bill that the President is willing to sign.
I’m on Social Security or disability and don’t make enough to pay taxes. Does that mean I won’t get a check?
At the moment, we don’t know the answer to that question.
However, the Senate GOP plan calls for payments of $600 (or $1,200 for married couples) for taxpayers who have little or no income tax liability but have at least $2,500 in qualifying income.
Whether that makes it into the final bill the President signs remains to be seen.
Do you have to sign up for the payments? How will the government know where to send the money?
The federal government would have addresses for people who paid taxes, earned income or received government payments last year.
However, those could be out of date, especially for renters or people without stable residences.
In addition, it is unclear whether any final package would involve traditional checks mailed to Americans or whether direct deposits into bank accounts would be an option.
What if I’m on food stamps? How can I stock up on supplies?
In addition to whatever happens with cash payments, there are other ways the government is working to help those on public assistance programs and those most in financial need.
Already, Congress has passed coronavirus legislation (known as the Families First Coronavirus Response Act) that provides additional funding for public health programs, food stamps, and school lunches.
That legislation also provides for additional unemployment insurance and ensures paid family and sick leave for employees of small businesses.
What if I currently owe the government money in taxes? Am I not going to get a check?
That is unlikely. It’s likely the final bill would include those who owe taxes even if they haven’t yet been paid.
In addition, the government is working to give people leniency in paying owed taxes as another way to get cash into Americans’ hands during the crisis.
The Treasury Department announced that anyone owing taxes for 2019 will have an extra three months — until July 15 — to pay without penalty or interest in what amounts to an interest-free loan from the federal government
Coronavirus Checks Summary
We hope this post on the Coronavirus checks was helpful.
If you have further questions about Coronavirus checks response by the government and programs to those affected by the virus, please let us know in the comments section below.
Be sure to check out our other articles on Social Security including Social Security Full Retirement Age, Schedule of Social Security benefit payments 2020.