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Archive for April, 2020

Another Stimulus Update

April 15th, 2020 at 08:20 pm

The IRS updated their website. You can now check on your stimulus "economic impact payment" status. & you can also provide your direct deposit information if you didn't have a "direct deposit refund" on your filed 2018 or 2019 tax returns.

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The website just went live today and so it may be better to check back later.

You will get a confirmation once you go through the process. Or you will get a message stating "Payment Status Not Available" with a link to information on eligibility rules. (To clarify: You will get the "Status Not Available" message if your income is too high to collect the stimulus payment, or if you are otherwise ineligible). If you don't receive any sort of confirmation, you will need to try again. (I was apparently too slow my first time through, but that will probably be a common problem today. The second time I tried I got a confirmation message).

Edited to add: After one day of the new site "Get My Payment" website being up, there is now a FAQ page that answers a lot of questions:
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Stimulus Update - IRS Site Updated

April 10th, 2020 at 11:31 pm

The IRS updated their website:

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The IRS has created a new website that allows non-filers to request the stimulus (economic impact) payments. Just go to the link above and you will see more info.

Individuals receiving social security benefits are not required to use this new tool to receive their payments. That said, you'd want to check it out if you have dependents and receive social security benefits (and haven't filed tax returns for 2018 or 2019). This is the only way you can let the IRS know that you have eligible dependents, in this situation.

The IRS also announced that a website for taxpayers to enter direct deposit information, and a website to check the status of your stimulus payment, will be available next week.

They also have a reminder (on the link above) to update your address (the usual channels) if the IRS doesn't have your most current address.

Stimulus Update

April 3rd, 2020 at 05:36 am

I am absolutely exhausted (work week from hell). So if this is gibberish, I will fix it later.

The U.S. tax stimulus will be $1,200 per adult and $500 per dependent child (under age 17). There is also an income cutoff for receiving these payments. (Just google it, it's all over the news).

Edited to add: The definition of "adult" is mostly someone who is not a dependent. So your college kids are not going to receive the $1,200 and you will not receive $500 for them.

As pointed out to me in my last blog post, you get to keep this stimulus. It sorts out when you file your 2020 tax return if you are owed a bigger stimulus amount (if your income changed, you had a new baby, etc.). But if you were overpaid based on income/dependent changes, you won't have to pay anything back.

Tax Planning Point: They will base these stimulus payments based on your 2019 tax return if it was filed. Based on 2018 if you did not file your 2019 tax return yet. If you had a big jump in income in 2019 and haven't filed yet, you might want to take your time. Not sure how much that helps if it takes 20 weeks to mail out checks. But, I have seen this advice thrown around. I suppose it could be wise to file an extension and not file your tax return until you get your stimulus if that's the case.

The wish of the legislature was to get these checks out in 2 weeks. 🙄 This sounds pretty pie-in-the-sky to me. But I know firsthand the IRS is severely understaffed, and also that many of their workers were sent home. But anyway, I just saw a headline on CNN that the IRS said they need 20 weeks to get checks out. Yes, 20 weeks!

IRS put up a site with some FAQs that I will put at the end of this post. Last I looked (a few days ago) it was mostly, "Check back later for details". In that FAQ they said that if for any reason you didn't file a tax return in '18 or '19, for example if you only had social security income and had no requirement to file, they will set up a simple online process to file a "basic" tax return just to provide the information to get your stimulus check.

Oh yeah, and if you had a direct deposit refund in 2018 or 2019, they will use that information to direct the deposit into your bank account. Direct deposit stimulus payments are expected to be done around April 15th. So if you had a tax refund and chose direct deposit, you might get your stimulus payment in about two weeks. (It's the remaining checks that will take several weeks to process. It will take them 5 weeks to be able to print out the first stimulus checks). On the IRS FAQ they also mentioned setting up some kind of an online form for taxpayers to provide their direct deposit information for a quicker stimulus payment. Details to follow later...

I ended up taking a tax/COVID class yesterday. The tax professionals were pushing back hard. The IRS expecting every fixed-income retired adult to figure out how to request their stimulus?... Tax professionals were insisting there must be a way to cross reference social security records, at the least.

In the end, the IRS has already caved. The IRS will also issue stimulus payments based on social security records. There will still be people who don't file tax returns for various reasons and will have the chance to request their stimulus with some sort of online process, but at least this captures a chunk of the lower income/older population who isn't going to have a lot of help with this stuff in isolation. (& now that I am reading the updated website, they don't have any mention of how you request stimulus in other situations, so it seems to be just changing every day at this point. Who knows).

Economic impact payments: What you need to know

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Social Security Recipient Update:
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Some Americans could wait 20 weeks to receive stimulus checks, IRS tells House Democrats
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One final tax thing: IRS has extended tax deadlines from April 15th to July 15th. You will have to check to see if your state has followed suit. There was a lot of back and forth, "What about this and that and this?" Estimate payments, IRA contributions, etc. At this point, it's all extended to July 15th.

Edited to Add: As of April 9th, I see they extended pretty much EVERYTHING, including (June 15th) second quarter estimate deadline. Also finally caved on 3/15 business tax deadlines.

Loan Deferrals ~ Be Careful

April 1st, 2020 at 02:06 pm

My instinct when seeing the loan deferrals was kind of *meh*. You know you are just prolonging the inevitable, adding interest to the loans, etc. I totally understand from a desperate standpoint. But I guess I am kind of skeptical if it really helps or just kicks the can down the road. Maybe that was my initial *meh* feeling. Does it help people (who need help) or does it just dig their holes deeper?

Well here's some salt to add to the wound. Sharing as an FYI to just be careful.

People deferring their mortgage payments are making an unpleasant discovery: it can wreck your credit rating

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Bank of America fields 150,000 payment deferral requests, but some customers call mortgage relief ‘misleading’
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