Stimulus Checks: Americans Married to Immigrants Might Not Qualify

As coronavirus relief stimulus checks continue to be sent out, it has been reported that Americans [...]

As coronavirus relief stimulus checks continue to be sent out, it has been reported that Americans who are married to immigrants might not qualify for a payout. According to CBS News, the IRS has stated that any U.S. citizens married to immigrants without Social Security numbers are not eligible to receive a stimulus check. The outlet notes that, per data from the Migration Policy Institute, roughly 1.2 million immigrants are married to American citizens.

As dictated by the IRS, only married couples in which both partners possess valid Social Security numbers will be eligible for a stimulus payout. This essentially excludes legal immigrants who use an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number when filing taxes. On the department's website, it notes that there is one exception to this rule: "If either spouse is a member of the U.S. Armed Forces at any time during the taxable year, then only one spouse needs to have a valid SSN."

The IRS also added, "U.S. resident aliens with a valid SSN are eligible for the Payment if they can't be claimed as a dependent of another taxpayer." Also, "in many cases," residents of areas such as Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and Guam are eligible for the stimulus payments as well. However, the IRS adds: "Special rules in the law apply to these five U.S. territories (possessions). In general, the tax authorities in each territory will make Payments to eligible residents. People in these territories with questions about the Payment should contact their local tax authority."

Many who are not required to file taxes have wondered if they are eligible, and the IRS states most are: "ligible retirees and recipients of Social Security retirement, disability (SSDI), survivors benefits, Railroad Retirement, or veterans benefits, as well as individuals who do not make enough money to normally have to file a tax return, are also eligible for the Payment. This includes those who have no income, as well as those whose income comes entirely from federal benefit programs, such as supplemental security income (SSI) benefits. No minimum income is needed for the Payment."

Per the CARES Act, most taxpaying Americans over 18 will be getting $1,200 stimulus checks, with parents receiving $500 for each child. However, individuals who make more than $75,000 annually (or $150,000 for married couples filing joint returns), for each $100 above the limit, the stimulus check amount decreases by $5. Taxpayers who earn $99,000 — and married couples with incomes above $198,000 — annually, will not be receiving payments. An exception to this is taxpayers have qualifying dependents. They may be still be eligible to receive the $500 for their children.