What you need to do to get your government stimulus check

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The IRS and the Treasury Department say Americans will start receiving their economic impact checks in the next three weeks.

The payments are part of the $2.2 trillion rescue package signed into law last week by President Donald Trump aimed at combating the economic ravages of the coronavirus outbreak.

Most people don’t need to do anything to get the money. But some — including senior citizens and low-income people who might not traditionally file tax returns — do need to take action. People behind on filing their taxes might also want to get caught up.

The IRS and Treasury have provided more details on how to ensure you get paid. Here are the basics:

WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR THE PAYMENTS?

Anyone earning up to $75,000 in adjusted gross income and who has a Social Security number will receive a $1,200 payment. That means married couples filing joint returns will receive the full payment — $2,400 — if their adjusted gross income, which what you report on your taxes, is under $150,000.

The payment steadily declines for those who make more. Those earning more than $99,000, or $198,000 for joint filers, are not eligible. The thresholds are slightly different for those who file as a head of household.

Parents will also receive $500 for each qualifying child.

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WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO TO GET THE CHECK?

For most people, nothing.

The money will be directly deposited in your bank account if the government has that information from your tax return. If you haven’t filed your 2019 taxes, the government will use information from your 2018 taxes to calculate your payment and determine where to send it. It can use your Social Security benefit statement as well.

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I DON’T USUALLY HAVE TO FILE TAXES. DO I STILL GET A PAYMENT?

Yes. People who are not required to file a tax return — such as low-income tax payers, some senior citizens, Social Security recipients, some veterans and people with disabilities — will need to file a very simplified tax return to receive the economic impact payment. It provides the government basic details including a person’s filing status, number of dependents and direct-deposit bank information.

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I HAVEN’T FILED MY 2018 OR 2019 TAXES. WILL I STILL GET A PAYMENT?

Yes, but the IRS urges anyone required to file a tax return and has not yet done so for those years to file as soon as possible in order to receive an economic impact payment. Taxpayers should include their direct-deposit banking information on the return if they want it deposited in their account.

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