Stimulus negotiations are yet again paused in Washington, with Republican and Democratic leaders urging Congress to. Unfortunately, there’s not much time for a by the end of the year or before . However, a must pass before we know the most crucial details: , , who and who .
Several situations delayed the first stimulus payment and if any apply to you, there are steps you can follow to attempt to fix them now. For example, if you haven’t filed a, if you , changed banking status or have incurred debt, it’s possible you’d be at the end of the line to get and would have to wait weeks or months after the IRS starts sending them out.
Keep reading to learn how you could get ready for another stimulus check whenever it passes — and try ourto estimate the size of your future payment. For further reading, here’s how stimulus payments work , and .
Change your address with the IRS if you moved recently
If you moved to a new address after filing your 2019 tax return (or any time during the coronavirus pandemic), you need to do two things to make sure your stimulus check can reach you by mail:.
You need to do this even if your new location is temporary — you can always update it if you move again. Even if your first check came(which means your second check likely would, too), you still want to make sure your address is updated so that you receive the IRS’ letter verifying when it sent your payment. If the letter arrives, but your funds do not, you’d know you have an issue to resolve.
To change your address with USPS, visit usps.com/move. To do so with the IRS, you have three options: fill out Form 8822, change your address by phone, or notify the IRS in writing at “the address where you filed your last return” by giving your full name, your old and new addresses, your Social Security number, individual taxpayer identification number or employer identification number, and your signature. (Find more detailed instructions on .)
Keep your banking status updated
If your banking status changes, it could hold up receipt of your stimulus payment. Black Americans and other people of color are more likely to be “unbanked” than white Americans, according to an analysis by the think tank Urban Institute. People who identify as white and whose incomes were above the poverty line were more likely to have received their first stimulus check by the end of May than people who identify as Black, Hispanic or below the poverty line, the analysis found, because the went to people who had their bank account information on file with the IRS.
Several large banks, including Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, now offer more affordable checkless bank accounts as part of a government-backed effort to help people enter the banking system.
A second check is likely to arrive the same way a first check did. If you’re a person without a bank account and your first payment came in the mail, either by check or, a second is likely to come in the same way.
Consider setting up direct deposit
If you do have a bank, you can use the IRSonline service to set up direct deposit for your stimulus payment, as well as find out the status of your check and see . The deadline to has passed, but would likely reopen when and if a second check happens.
If you didn’t file taxes in 2018 or 2019, fill out this IRS form
People who earned below the threshold to be required to file federal income tax returns in 2018 or 2019 did not get a stimulus check unless they(this group includes low-income families with children and a disproportionate number of Black people and people of color).
If your first check is, you to claim your missing money — or , if you only received a partial check — in order to get the payment before tax season 2021. (You can .) You should also fill out the nonfilers form so that the IRS has your information on file if a second check is approved.
Pay off any overdue child support
If you owe more than $150 in(called arrears), your state may reserve the right to , based on how much you owe. This would likely be the case if a second stimulus check is passed, too. If possible, you should pay any overdue child support as quickly as you can to make sure you get your full stimulus check, as well as a possible payment for your child.
If you’re owed child support, you may receive money garnished from your child’s other parent, though it may take a while to get to you after it is processed by the state. Find out more about.
Get your tax papers in order
If you(which was on Oct. 15), you can still file late. There’s no penalty for doing so if you’re owed a refund, but if you owe the IRS money, you’ll have penalties and interest for any remaining unpaid tax due starting on July 16, 2020, along with a $300 failure-to-file penalty.
However, if you owe federal taxes or have other federal debts, the IRS will not reduce your stimulus payment to cover those — the only exception being if you owe child support.
Again, if you were not required to file a 2018 or 2019 tax return because you wereif you’re under age 65, you should use the IRS nonfilers tool by Nov. 21 to claim a missing payment.
For those who do file taxes but, you can claim your payment on your 2020 tax return next year. (Important caveat: If you did file a 2019 tax refund, even if you weren’t required to do so, don’t use the nonfilers tool — it’ll just slow down the processing of your return and any refund.)
Triple-check that you’re eligible for a stimulus check
. The general qualifications for receiving a first stimulus check under the March would likely hold true for a second.
Here’s who qualified for the first round,on your 2018 or 2019 taxes:
- If you’re a single filer and earn less than $99,000
- If you file as the head of a household and earn under $146,500
- If you file jointly with your spouse and earn less than $198,000
However, there are a lot of exceptions and rules depending on your situation (you can find a more). Find out what your stimulus check could look like , , or . And you can use our tool to .