What does filing my taxes have to do with receiving my federal stimulus check?
In response to the economic fallout felt by millions of Americans during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government is providing individuals making $75,000 or less -- or $150,000 or less for married couples filing jointly -- with stimulus checks of $1,200, plus $500 for each qualifying child. Payments phase out above these income thresholds.
To determine who is eligible for these payments, the federal government will rely on information collected by the Internal Revenue Service through income tax returns.
In order to receive your stimulus check, you must have filed a tax return for either 2018 or 2019. Those who do will automatically receive a payment.
If you haven’t filed a tax return for either of those years, you can find online resources here to help you file safely from your home.
For those who have set up direct deposit with the IRS (in previous tax filings), the IRS will provide your stimulus check via direct deposit instead of mailing you a paper check.
If you do not have direct deposit set up with the IRS and you’ve moved to a new address since filing your most recent tax return, you should submit a change of address form in order to ensure that your check is mailed to the correct address.
I don’t typically file a tax return. Is there any other reason that I should now?
Yes. During this time of great uncertainty, filing a tax return could help your family access significant cash back in tax credits.
In addition to economic stimulus payments in response to COVID-19, people who typically don’t file a tax return because their income is below the requirement could still be eligible for hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars in tax credit refunds through the California and federal Earned Income Tax Credits if they file.
To find out if you qualify for cash back through the California and federal EITC, you can use our eligibility calculator.
When do I need to file my 2019 taxes?
Both the federal government and the state of California have moved their tax filing deadlines back 90 days to July 15. However, if you or your family need cash to help you weather the economic fallout from COVID-19, there’s no reason to wait until July 15 to file. In order to receive your stimulus check and a cashback refund from the Earned Income Tax Credit, you must file a tax return. You can find resources to file now for free online here.