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What does an incentive check have to do with taxes? All. Here’s what you need to know


Taxes and incentive checks are intricately linked. We’ll show you how.

Angela Lang / CNET

If you have first stimulus control of up to $ 1200, does it count as income when you register your tax next year? Based on power negotiations, it can change with a second check? And what happens if your income differs from your first check and a second?

Your taxes for 2018 and 2019 play an important role with the amount of stimulus checks from the IRS. They help to decide how much money you are entitled to and who even qualify for a direct payment in the first instance, from dependent to adults and pensioners and retirees.

We can help you answer your questions about how tax returns and incentive checks go together. And here it is most important things to know about stimulus controls overall.

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Can I be taxed for my incentive payment?

No a incentive payment does not count as income and you are not liable to tax on it, the tax authority has said.

How does the tax determine the size of the stimulus control?

The IRS uses adjusted gross income or AGI, from your 2019 federal tax return (or your 2018 return if you did not file one in 2019) to calculate your payment scale. Your AGI may be a different figure than your annual salary or home salary based on various factors.

The income limits that determine exactly how much of $ 1200 per adult your household receives – and if you are qualified to receive a check First of all – derived directly from AGI at your last tax rate, not necessarily what your income is when the checks go out.

What happens if my AGI has changed from my 2018 tax to my 2019 tax?

If you filed your 2019 federal tax return before April 15, 2020, the IRS used your reported AGI to set the amount for your first payment. If you did not file in 2019 but did in 2018, that is the year the IRS used. It is likely that a second check would follow the same protocol, if and when it happens.

What if I lost my job or got a new one since I filed for tax – could I still get a stimulus check?

If your financial situation changed after you submitted your tax return for 2018 or 2019 – for example, you received less income – you can claim the extra amount on your tax return in 2020 when you submit in 2021. You will probably need to take an extra steps to claim your credit – The IRS will post more information closer to the 2020 tax season.


The IRS uses your most recent tax returns to calculate the size of your incentive payment.

Angela Lang / CNET

Can my taxes for 2019 help me get a second check faster?

If you filed tax in 2018 or 2019 and included direct deposit information, the IRS will try deposit your check in the bank account you entered on your tax return. If you normally receive your refund by check in the mail, the IRS provided a tool to allow you to use your bank information to obtain an electronic deposit.

The deadline for using that tool expired in mid-May, but the tax authorities would probably reopen it if a second incentive check goes through.

Does this year’s incentive payment affect how much I owe for next year’s tax?

If you receive a payment this year, it will not reduce your future tax refund or increase what you owe when you file your 2020 tax return next year. The payment also does not count as income to determine if you are eligible for federal state aid or benefit programs.

Do I have to repay the money if I qualify for less with next year’s tax?

You will not have to repay an incentive payment if, based on your tax returns from 2020, you are no longer entitled to the amount you received.

Will the IRS redirect my incentive payment to cover taxes I owe?

If you owe federal taxes or have other federal debts, the IRS will not reduce your incentive payment to cover them, with one exception we are aware of. If you owe late child support, the IRS will compensate your payment to cover that cost.


If you do not have to file a tax return, you can still qualify for an incentive check.

Angela Lang / CNET

With my tax return from 2020, can I demand incentive money that the IRS owes me?

The IRS uses your 2019 tax return if you submitted it (or your 2018 return if you did not submit one in 2019) to set the amount for your payment.

If a change in your financial situation was not reflected in your 2018 or 2019 tax return – such as the birth or adoption of a child – you can claim the extra amount on your 2020 tax return when you file in 2021. This may include an additional $ 500 for one qualified dependency who was guilty, but not delivered, with the first check. The deadline for receiving a missing payment this year for eligible relatives was 30 September.

If I did not pay tax, can I still be entitled to a payment?

If you did not have to file a tax return for 2018 or 2019 because you were below the income threshold or if you receive federal benefits such as social security, you may still be eligible for a payment. The IRS reported recently that up to 9 million who fall into the category of non-filters can receive a payment. You can use the IRS’s non-filing tool to see if you should pay a payment and have until October 15 to receive a payment this year. After October 15, you can claim the next year on your 2020 tax return.

For more, here’s what you need to know about stimulus checks if you get SSDI benefits, which may otherwise be entitled to a second incentive payment and what other benefits can be a part of another relief package.

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