New coronavirus stimulus should incentivize going back to work: Financial planner
Doug Flynn of Flynn Zito Capital Management on a new report from the Congressional Budget Office projecting a 10-year economic recovery from the coronavirus.
The federal government has delivered cash payments intended to blunt the economic pain of the coronavirus pandemic to 159 million Americans, according to the Internal Revenue Service, but some individuals are still waiting for the money to arrive.
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The payments totaled nearly $267 billion. The IRS said it sent $120 million to Americans via direct deposit; $35 million by check; and $4 million in the form of a prepaid debit card.
But millions of low-income people, homeless people and others who aren’t required to file a tax return may not have received the money — and are still eligible to get it. In order to do so, they need to take some steps to provide the agency with the necessary information about where to send the check.
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"Even with these unprecedented steps, there remain people eligible for these payments who need to take action,” IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said in a statement.
Individuals who normally do not file a tax return can register for the payment and submit their information through the “Non-Filers” tool. If you filed a 2018 tax return, or plan to file a return in 2019, you do not need to use the tool; the IRS has said doing so could slow down the distribution of the money.
The non-filers tool is intended for couples who earn less than $24,400 and individuals who earn less than $12,200, as well as those who are homeless. The IRS noted that whether or not individuals have earned an income or work, they’re eligible to receive the payments.
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It’s unclear how many individuals are still waiting on the check; more than 15 million Americans on Social Security do not file an annual tax return because their income is so low, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
The money can be substantial, particularly for low-income individuals who qualify for the maximum one-time payment of $1,200 (or $2,400 for couples). Plus, families receive an extra $500 for every child under the age of 17. The payments are tapered for higher-earners and phase out completely for individuals who earn more than $99,000.
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The cash is intended to blunt the financial pain for Americans caused by the coronavirus pandemic, which brought the economy grinding to a halt in mid-March. In the span of 11 weeks, close to 42 million Americans filed for unemployment, the Labor Department said Thursday. The record-shattering number is a stunning sign of the depth of the economic calamity inflicted by the outbreak of the virus.
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