Yesterday, we learned some news, and I thought I’d send you a short note for you to hear this (it is a welcome change).
Earlier this week I wrote to you (and it has been all over the news) about the economic stimulus checks (typically for $1,200 for single filers and $2,400 for joint filers).
The initial rules were stating that anyone who filed a 2018 and 2019 return would get a payment. That payment would be based on eligibility as determined by your 2018 return (or your 2019 return if you had already filed one).
A rather large body of Des Moines taxpayers started asking about those in America who have NOT filed a 2018 return or a 2019 return.
And the potentially hardest hit would be those individual taxpayers who did NOT file because they were only getting social security payments and NOT required to file a tax return.
Many tax professionals (like us) were gearing up to file simple tax returns for those people solely living on social security so that they could take their place in line and get their check.
But here’s the good news: the Treasury announced that Social Security Beneficiaries who typically do NOT file a tax return will still automatically get the $1,200 payment.
That announcement is a reversal from earlier in the week when the IRS said that EVERYONE would need to file SOME sort of tax return in order to qualify for the payments.
So, they went on to say that “social security recipients who are not typically required to file a tax return need to take NO ACTION, and will receive their stimulus check payment directly to their bank account” (which is a direct quote from the Treasury Director, Steve Mnuchin).
This good news will, apparently, impact more than 15 million Americans on Social Security.
Mnuchin reported that direct deposits should begin by Friday, April 17th, followed by checks in the mail. The IRS says that around 60 percent of tax filers gave them direct-deposit information in recent years. That alleviates a lot of time and expense in mailing checks out to people.
ALSO there is this:
The IRS announced that there will soon be a web-based portal for people to update their direct-deposit information.
Listen up on this one:
If you gave the IRS your direct-deposit information on your 2018/2019 return and IT HAS CHANGED, you had better plan on using that portal to give them the correct information.
We can help you with that, if necessary.
If you did NOT use direct-deposit on your 2018/2019 return(s) and you DO WANT the money deposited directly into your bank account, you had better use that portal.
We will be in touch early next week with more information, and hopefully information about the new portal.
We’re in your corner.
Ann M. Hartz, CPA and Associates
And again, to reiterate my “CRISIS Action Plan” for my Des Moines clients:
1) Don’t marinate in other people’s panic. Be mindful of your social media consumption.
2) Get financially and logistically prepared for the worst.
3) Make sure you have some ready, liquid assets, if you are able. (I.e., cash in the bank, and in hand.)
4) Set aside plans for any big spending until the dust settles — but especially look out for your small business owner friends and vendors.
Much more to come in the days ahead.