Direct Economic Impact Payments to Individuals

This webpage was last updated on April 2, 2020

In March, Senator Duckworth voted for and Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The law directs the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury) to make a one-time direct economic impact payment of $1,200 to individuals with an adjusted gross income of $75,000 or less. Parents may also receive an additional $500 for each child that qualifies for and was claimed under the Child Tax Credit.

On March 30, 2020, the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that distribution of economic impact payments should begin in the next three weeks. For most people, the IRS will automatically distribute the direct economic impact payments directly into their bank accounts.

IMPORTANT NOTE: After Senator Duckworth called on Treasury to improve its process for Social Security Beneficiaries, the agency announced on April 1 that recipients of Social Security benefits who do not typically file a return will automatically receive a direct payment. The IRS will use Forms SSA-1099 and RRB-1099 to generate payments to these individuals. All other taxpayers who did NOT file a tax return in 2018 or 2019 will still need to submit a simple tax return to receive the direct economic impact payment. Information and resources to file a tax return with the IRS are available on the official IRS website: IRS Free File – Do Your Taxes for Free.

Questions and Answers on Direct Economic Impact Payments

Who is eligible for the economic impact payment?
Under the legislation Senator Duckworth helped pass, tax filers with adjusted gross income up to $75,000 for individuals and up to $150,000 for married couples filing joint returns will receive the full payment. Heads of household earning up to $112,500 will be eligible for the full payment.

For filers with income above those amounts, the payment amount is reduced by $5 for each $100 above the $75,000/$150,000 thresholds. Single filers with income exceeding $99,000 and $198,000 for joint filers with no children are not eligible. Heads of Household with no children and adjusted gross incomes above $136,500 will receive no payment.

Eligible taxpayers who filed tax returns for either 2019 or 2018 will automatically receive an economic impact payment of up to $1,200 for individuals or $2,400 for married couples. Parents also receive $500 for each qualifying child.

How will the IRS know where to send my payment?
The vast majority of people do not need to take any action. The IRS will calculate and automatically send the economic impact payment to those eligible.

For people who have already filed their 2019 tax returns, the IRS will use this information to calculate the payment amount. For those who have not yet filed their return for 2019, the IRS will use information from their 2018 tax filing to calculate the payment.

The economic impact payment will be deposited directly into the same banking account reflected on the return filed.

The IRS does not have my direct deposit information. What can I do?
In the coming weeks, Treasury plans to develop a web-based portal for individuals to provide their banking information to the IRS online, so that individuals can receive payments immediately as opposed to checks in the mail.

I am not typically required to file a tax return. Can I still receive my payment?
If you receive Social Security benefits and do not typically file a tax return, you will receive a payment with no further action required. Though Treasury initially stated these beneficiaries would need to file a return, Treasury announced that it will use Form SSA-1099 and Form RRB-1099 to automatically generate payments for Social Security beneficiaries after calls from Senator Duckworth and other Senators to make the process easier for these recipients. If you are a taxpayer who is not receiving Social Security benefits and did not file a return in 2018 or 2019, you will need to file a simple tax return to receive an economic impact payment. Low-income taxpayers, senior citizens, some veterans and individuals with disabilities who are otherwise not required to file a tax return will not owe tax.

How can I file the tax return needed to receive my economic impact payment
IRS.gov/coronavirus will soon provide information instructing people in these groups on how to file a 2019 tax return with simple, but necessary, information including their filing status, number of dependents and direct deposit bank account information.

I have not filed my tax return for 2018 or 2019. Can I still receive an economic impact payment?
Yes. The IRS urges anyone with a tax filing obligation who has not yet filed a tax return for 2018 or 2019 to file as soon as they can to receive an economic impact payment. Taxpayers should include direct deposit banking information on the return.

I need to file a tax return. How long are the economic impact payments available?
For those concerned about visiting a tax professional or local community organization in person to get help with a tax return, these economic impact payments will be available throughout the rest of 2020.

Where can I get more information?
The IRS will post all key information on IRS.gov/coronavirus as soon as it becomes available.

The IRS has a reduced staff in many of its offices but remains committed to helping eligible individuals receive their payments expeditiously. Check for updated information on IRS.gov/coronavirus rather than calling IRS assistors who are helping process 2019 returns.