By now, you've probably heard that the Internal Revenue Service is distributing coronavirus stimulus checks valued at up to $1,200 per person, $2,400 per couple, and $500 per dependent child. The amount you'll get is based on your income, with single filers earning more than $75,000 and married filers with incomes above $150,000 seeing payments reduced by $5 for each $100 above those income limits.
The IRS needs to know your income to determine eligibility and the amount of your check, and they'll be using 2018 or 2019 tax returns to determine it. Many Social Security beneficiaries don't file those returns, but the IRS announced it will use information from Social Security to provide stimulus payments to recipients without returns on file. This applies to people receiving retirement benefits, disability benefits, and supplemental security income.
But for some beneficiaries, relying on the IRS to get your info from Social Security won't be sufficient. In fact, there are two situations where you'll need to provide the IRS with more information by either filing a return or using the simple form created for non-filers.
1. If you just started getting Social Security benefits in 2020
For most Social Security beneficiaries who didn't file tax returns in 2018 or 2019, the IRS can get your information from the Social Security Administration to send your checks.
But if you didn't start getting your benefits until 2020, you won't have a Social Security benefit statement. You'll need to take action and let the IRS know your details so you can get your money.
2. If you have dependents and want the IRS to know
Your Social Security statements don't provide the IRS with information about whether you have dependent children. If you have kids that qualify you for the extra $500 but you didn't file a tax return declaring them, you need to let the IRS know.
For kids to be eligible for the extra stimulus funds, they must meet the following requirements:
- They must live with you at least half the time.
- They must be related to you through blood, marriage, or adoption.
- They must be under the age of 17.
- You must be eligible to claim them as a dependent on your tax return.
- You must provide at least half their financial support.
- They must be U.S. citizens, nationals, or resident aliens.
If you have kids who qualify you for extra stimulus money, be sure to let the IRS know quickly, before they send your payment.
Don't leave money on the table
You don't want to delay the receipt of stimulus funds or miss out on money altogether. If you didn't file a 2018 or 2019 return and just started getting Social Security, or you have dependents the IRS doesn't know about, go to the IRS website and provide your details today.