Ariel Katz
Grant Thornton Israel

Coronavirus Stimulus Payments: What to know

A check from the U.S. Treasury Department

In response to the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, United States citizens can receive one-time direct cash payments to most households. We have provided the key details:

When will the money arrive?

Payments were sent out by the US treasury beginning in the week of April 13. The government will be able to move fastest for people who have filed 2019 tax returns with direct-deposit information and significantly slower for those who will need paper checks.

Is there a way to give the IRS my information to guarantee I receive my payment?

It is possible to contact the IRS in order to ensure that all information, including addresses, social security numbers, and US bank account information is correct and up to date.

This can accelerate the payment by weeks or months because the government can only send out checks or transfer to bank accounts information that has been confirmed.

How much money is it?

The plan provides $1,200 for each adult and $500 for each child under 17. A married couple with two children would get $3,400.

Who qualifies for the stimulus payments?

The payments go to adults with a Social Security number, as long as they aren’t dependents of someone else. Those adults get the payments for the children in their household. Payments start phasing out for those with income above $75,000 in adjusted gross income for individuals, $112,500 for heads of household (where a US citizen has an Israeli spouse) and $150,000 for married couples. The payments start shrinking above those levels.

How can I get the stimulus payment if I don’t usually file tax returns?

The IRS allows applications to be submitted for people who have no income or too little income to file a tax return in most years. The application requires certain information which allows the IRS to verify the person’s existence and qualifications.

How does the IRS determine whether you are getting a payment and how much you get?

The IRS will use the 2019 tax returns to set the payment amounts and 2018 tax returns if 2019 isn’t available.

People who haven’t filed tax returns can still file for 2019 to make sure the government has their updated income and bank-account information, as well as 2019 information about recent births, deaths, marriages, divorces and moves.

What if my income goes down this year from the amount of income reported in 2019?

The advance payments will be determined based on 2019 income—or 2018 income if that is all that is available to IRS—and the final amount of the benefits will be determined based on 2020 income and settled on the 2020 tax return.

So people who ultimately qualify for more money than they receive this year—a person whose income drops from $100,000 to $70,000, for example—would get the rest through a larger tax refund or smaller tax payment in early 2021.   But people who ultimately qualify for less money than they got this year—a person whose income rises from $70,000 to $100,000—wouldn’t have to pay it back.

How will I know if I qualify and if a check was sent?

Once our US tax group has confirmed the taxpayers’ information and processed the application for the stimulus payment, we will be able to update you and track the payment 15 days after the payment has been sent.

Please contact us directly at Grant Thornton Israel.  Our office can be reached at 03 710 6666 or info@il.gt.com.

About the Author
Ariel Katz CPA is an expert in United States taxation and accounting at Grant Thornton Israel. Mr. Katz focuses on individual, corporate, and non-profit companies, and advises many companies in the area of tax structuring and planning. Mr. Katz is highly involved in academic teaching and professional training. He conducts various activities, including: Senior lecturer in the accounting department in the field of corporate taxation and partnership taxation at the College of Management Academic College. His hobbies include learning Torah, chess, bicycle riding, and running.
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