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Older adults can get stimulus checks: Everything you need to know



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Many older people automatically received an initial incentive payment, but the authorization can be changed if a second is passed.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Were elderly and pensioners entitled to first round of coronavirus stimulation controls of up to $ 1200? And if another bill is passed in Congress, they would qualify for second stimulus control who can come up with it? The answer gets a little complicated and depends on your tax records, your AGI, your pension and whether or not you counts as an addict to the IRS.

Here is everything older and pensioners need to know about eligibility for stimulus checks. You can also check out our tool that helps you calculate how much stimulus money you can get and the most important things you should know about stimulus controls right now.

Who counts the IRS as retired?

Anyone who is 65 years or older at the end of 2019 is considered a senior on their taxes that year and beyond. (If you have questions about citizenship requirements, more below.)

How do you know if you are eligible for a stimulus check? What happens if you retire or make money on investments?

Whether you are eligible for an incentive check or not (and if you are, how much money you can get) depends on your adjusted gross income, or AGI, from your federal tax record for 2019. If you have a pension or investment that is taxable, they will affect your AGI and therefore your entitlement to an incentive check. The same applies to interest from a bank account. However, interest from tax-exempt bonds is not included in your AGI, so it does not affect your incentive payment entitlement.






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What counts as my income?

Your gross income includes income from sources outside the United States, from the sale of your principal home and gains (but not losses) reported on Form 8949 or Schedule D.

Your gross income does not include any social benefits, unless:

  • You are married but filed for separation and lived with your spouse sometime in 2019.
  • Half of your social security benefits plus your other gross income and any tax-exempt interest are more than $ 25,000 filing single (or $ 32,000 if they marry jointly).

If any of these are the case for you, you can check the instructions for forms 1040 and 1040-SR or pub. 915, Social insurance and the corresponding railway pension benefits to calculate the taxable part of social insurance benefits that you must include in gross income.

What if you did not receive a first check but should have done so?

If you are 65 years of age or older and eligible for a first incentive check under the March CARES Act, but did not receive one, you can track the status of your lost payment by visiting the IRS Get My Payment website or attempting to contact the IRS by telephone.

Do older people need to submit self-declarations?

The requirement to submit a tax return depends on your gross income, which is all income you receive in the form of money, goods, property and services that are not tax-exempt (more below). For 2019, the standard deduction amount for individual archives was $ 12,200.

Your gross income differs from your adjusted gross income, or AGI, which is your gross income minus any adjustments you may qualify for. (Find out everything you need to know about how your taxes affect your incentive payments here.)

When should I file taxes if I’m over 65?

If you are 65 years of age or older, you must file a tax return in the following circumstances:

  • Individual files with at least $ 13,850 gross income
  • Household manager with at least $ 20,000 in gross income
  • Married filing jointly (if one spouse is 65 or older, $ 25,700 in gross income; if both spouses are 65 or older, $ 27,000 in gross income)
  • Married filing separately (all ages, $ 5)
  • Qualified widow (age) 65 years or older with at least $ 25,700 in gross income

During the 2019 tax year, the IRS introduced Form 1040-SR, the US Tax Return for Seniors. This form is basically the same as Form 1040, but has larger text and some useful information for older taxpayers.

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If you are counted as someone else’s addict, you were not entitled to incentive money under the CARES Act.

Angela Lang / CNET

How do you know if you are considered someone else’s addict?

Some seniors may be considered dependent on someone else’s taxes, called “qualified relatives”. For example, you can live with your children. When it comes to qualifying for a potential second incentive check, the main tax return would need to claim you as dependent on their tax form 1040 in 2019.

A qualified relative can be of any age. To be considered a qualified relative on someone’s tax return, the person must meet four criteria:

  • Does not count as a qualified child addict
  • Live with the family member all year round as a member of their household, or count as a relative who does not have to live with you all year round (as a parent or grandparent, stepparent or a sibling)
  • Have a gross income for the year of less than $ 4,200
  • Get more than half of your support during that year from that family

If you were dependent on someone else’s tax and were over 16 years old, you were not eligible for any incentive money at all in the first round of incentive checks.

Were older people eligible for the first round of stimulus checks? How about veterans, relatives and members of SSI and SSDI programs?

Yes, with precautions. Social security recipients and retired railroad workers who were not required to file a 2018 or 2019 tax return were eligible for the first incentive payment and were not required to file a tax return to receive their check, according to the IRS. The payments were based on the information in their 1099 benefits, with no further paperwork required.

Supplementary security income recipients without maintenance children should have received incentive payments automatically without having to submit additional paperwork as well. The same applies to persons who receive compensation and pension benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

People who are part of the social security insurance program and who did not have to submit tax returns for 2018 or 2019 should also have automatically received an initial incentive payment. (Read more about how SSDI affects stimulus payments here.)

However, older people who were claimed to be dependent on tax forms for 2019 were not entitled to an incentive check under the CARES Act. However, if a second check is approved, it is likely that the main tax return would receive extra money for these relatives (read more below).

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There are some reasons why some seniors may not have received an initial stimulus check.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Will the qualifications change if a second inspection is approved?

If a second incentive payment is approved by Congress, it is likely that the qualifications will be broadly the same for older adults. Those who are considered dependent on someone else’s tax may, however, be entitled to additional money in a new incentive package.

We do not know exactly how much money will be set aside for people who are addicted until another stimulus package passes. Here’s what we know: under the Republican-backed HEALS Act, you would receive $ 500 per addict, with no limit on the number of people who can receive that money. Under the Democracy-Supported Heroes Act, you get $ 1,200 per addiction, for up to three people. Both bills would provide these payments for people of all ages, including students and adults, including potentially older relatives who depend on you for care.

Do you have to be a US citizen to receive an incentive payment?

Under the CARES Act, all U.S. citizens and non-U.S. Citizens with social security numbers living and working in the United States were eligible for incentive payments. This includes people whom the IRS calls “resident aliens,” green card holders, and workers who use visas such as H-1B and H-2A.

If your citizenship status changed since you first received a social security number, you may need to update the IRS records to obtain your check (more on that below). U.S. citizens living abroad were also eligible for an initial payment.

Reasons why you may not have received an initial stimulus check

There are several possible reasons why you may not have received an initial incentive check under the CARES Act, according to Janet Holtzblatt, a senior colleague at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center:

The IRS did not have enough information to determine if you were eligible. If you receive Social Security Pension Benefits, SSDI, Survivors ‘Benefits, SSI, Veterans’ Benefits and Retirement Benefits or Railway Retirement Benefits and do not automatically receive a check, direct deposit or EIP card payment, you must complete the online IRS non-filter tool by October 15th. Otherwise, you have to wait until next year and submit a tax return for 2020 to get your check.

If you are unable to send the information online using the tool, you can still use the Web site to enter the required information and then print and send the document to the IRS. Write “EIP 2020” at the top of the printed document.

This may have happened if you became a US citizen or received your green card since you first received a social security number. To qualify for a check, you must have the right type of social security number that entitles you to work in the United States, Holtzblatt said. If your citizenship status changed and you did not inform SSA, the IRS records would not be updated.

You owe child support. In some cases, you may not have received your payment (or the full amount) because you owe child support. In certain circumstances, the Ministry of Finance reduces government payments by the amount the child pays.

You had a checking account or a mortgage. In some cases, the entire incentive payment was deposited directly into your bank account, but the bank may have blocked all or part of it due to an overdraft facility or a lien from a third party. If you suspect this is the case, contact your bank.

What happens if you are over 65 with relatives but did not receive another $ 500?

If you are 65 years of age or older and have a child-dependent age of 16 years or younger who qualified for an additional $ 500 under the CARES Act, you could have used the IRS nonfilers tool by September 30 to claim the money. If you missed the deadline, you will have to wait until 2021 to claim your incentive payment for eligible relatives. However, the IRS has said that you should not use the tool yet if you are still planning to file a tax return from 2019 (for example, if you applied for an extension on October 15), as it will slow down the process.

For more information on incentive payments, here’s how quickly the IRS can send out a second incentive payment if it passes. And if you still have not received your stimulus control and you think it is lost or missing, try this IRS phone number to file a report.


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