Since the start of April, the rollout of one-time stimulus payments has not been without an issue for Americans across the country. The CARES Act, which passed March 31, included $1,200 allotted to most U.S. adults, along with $500 for each additional dependent claimed. However, anxious citizens who've been financially impacted by the coronavirus pandemic are still waiting on their money.
While there are a few reasons for the possible cause in delay, according to Market Watch, several of them have been vented about at-length on social media. Mainly, anyone who filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return and submitted their direct deposit information would be the one where the stimulus money was sent. However, some of those accounts are no longer valid, which caused all sorts of confusion.
Additionally, the IRS, which is handling these payments, isn't able to offer phone support at all right now, due to reduced staff and remote working conditions brought on by coronavirus. There is a Get My Payment tool on their website, along with a non-filer portal so people can update their information and ideally receive their payments more quickly. Then there's the issue with paper checks, which were reportedly delayed due to President Donald Trump requesting his name appear on each one. Suffice to say, it has not been an ideal situation. For those still waiting on their stimulus checks, here are a few reasons for the possible holdup.
Missing Account Info
If the IRS doesn't have account info, it's not able to deposit it directly. The FDIC has been pushing for the 6.5 percent of U.S. households that don't have an account to open one, which will also save check-cashing fees charged by third-party outlets. If it's not the account attached to any recent tax returns, you can enter the information on the IRS website here.
Once that information is entered, the recently-overhauled Get My Payment tool can help track the payment. "We update Get My Payment data once per day, overnight so there is no need to check more often," the IRS website states. There's also a Spanish version of the tool coming in the near future.
Too Much Income
While there are a few reasons people won't qualify for a stimulus check, one of the big ones is too much income. The payments are specifically for individuals who make $75,000 a year or lease, or $2,400 to married couples earning under $150,000. This amount decreases by $5 for every $100 above those two thresholds. Essentially, anyone who makes more than $99,000 won't qualify, nor will couples who make above $198,000.
Being Claimed as a Dependent
Anyone being claimed as a dependent by someone else is automatically disqualified from the $1,200 one-time payment. This gets more complicated when considering the fact that the IRS counts a dependent as age 17 and under. However, if the most recent information is a 2018 return, someone who was a dependent then may be living on their own now.
The IRS also announced that those graduating from high school this year will not receive a $1,200 stimulus payment if they are claimed as a dependent this year and next year. However, if they're not claimed as a dependent, they might be eligible for a $1,200 check then.
As mentioned before, outdated account info has ended up being the dumping ground for several stimulus payments, which has created complications. H&R Block, which is offering customers an advance on their stimulus, accused the IRS of "created confusion by not always using clients' final destination bank account information for stimulus payments."
"We share our clients' frustration that many of them have not yet received these much-needed payments due to IRS decisions, and we are actively working with the IRS to get stimulus payments sent directly to client accounts," the statement continued.
One of the more controversial aspects of the stimulus payments has been the fact that many institutions and debt collectors are taking direct deposits and putting the money against any delinquent accounts. Some banks have backed off for the time being, and there's been talk of the Treasury Department intervening against such measures. However, it would ultimately be up to Congress to pass a law before any real action could be taken.
Another hotly-contested issue over the stimulus payments has been how they've been allotted to non-native citizens. Some are eligible, including green-card holders, who are viewed by the IRS as legal permanent residents. This doesn't include anyone who's got a green-card application pending, and the office who processes those forms is currently closed until June.
There's also the issue of marriage to a green-card holder. For example, if someone was married to a green-card holder and present in the United States before they received permanent-resident status, they should get a payment. However, if someone married a green-card holder after that point, they would no longer be eligible.