WASHINGTON — At least 88 million stimulus payments have already been delivered, but some who've received their money were expecting a bit more.
As part of the CARES Act, the government is sending eligible Americans a $1,200 coronavirus economic impact payment, plus an additional $500 per child younger than 17 years old.
But some parents over the past few weeks have reported that they didn't receive the extra $500 payments they should've gotten for their dependents.
This week, the IRS officially addressed this issue for the first time on its website in a frequently asked questions section all about the coronavirus economic impact payments.
The IRS explained that if your stimulus check is for less than what you think you should've received, you'll be able to claim the additional amount when you file your 2020 tax return next year.
"This is particularly important for individuals who may be entitled to the additional $500 per qualifying child dependent payments," the IRS noted in its answer. This is also the case for any children who were born, adopted or placed into foster care this year -- you'll need to claim them on your tax return next year.
On the flip-side of that, if you received a $500 payment for a child who's just recently turned 17, you won't need to repay that money, according to the IRS. The same goes for people who may have received the full $1,200 payment, even though their income may have recently increased, putting them above the threshold for the full amount.
VA or SSI recipients with eligible dependents also need to act now to make sure they get an extra $500 with their stimulus checks. People with children under 17 who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or are a Veteran Affairs (VA) beneficiary, need to provide the IRS with dependent information by May 5 in order to receive additional funds in their stimulus checks.
The IRS will automatically issue $1,200 economic impact statements to VA and SSI recipients, but those who have a child and aren't required to file taxes need to use the Non-Filers tool on IRS.gov by May 5 in order to have the $500 added automatically to their $1,200 payment.
The deadline to provide dependent information already passed for those receiving Social Security retirement, SSDI and RRB. If people in these groups did not provide dependent information, they can receive the extra $500 per child with a future tax return.
SSI and VA recipients who receive compensation and pension benefit payments should receive their economic impact money by mid-May, according to the IRS. People receiving Social Security retirement, SSDI and RRB will start getting payments next week.
Dependent information cannot be added once the $1,200 check goes out.
Below are the IRS answers to some frequently asked questions about the coronavirus stimulus checks:
What can I do if I think my economic impact payment amount is wrong?
If you did not receive the full amount to which you believe you are entitled, you will be able to claim the additional amount when you file your 2020 tax return. This is particularly important for individuals who may be entitled to the additional $500 per qualifying child dependent payments. For VA and SSI recipients who don’t have a filing requirement and have a child, they need to use the Non-Filers tool on IRS.gov by May 5 in order to have the $500 added automatically to their $1,200 economic impact payment.
If I got the $500 credit and my child just turned 17, will I have to pay back that money?
No, there is no provision in the law requiring repayment of a payment. When you file next year, you can claim additional credits on your 2020 tax return if you are eligible for them, for example if your child is born in 2020. But, you won’t be required to repay any payment when filing your 2020 tax return even if your qualifying child turns 17 in 2020 or your adjusted gross income increases in 2020 above the thresholds listed above.
What do I need to do to get my payment if I receive Social Security, SSI, Railroad Retirement, or Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) benefits?
You are not required to file a tax return and will automatically receive a $1,200 payment if you received Social Security retirement, SSDI, survivors benefits, SSI, Railroad Retirement benefits, or VA Compensation and Pension (C&P) benefits in 2019. You do not need to contact the IRS, Social Security Administration (SSA), the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) or Veterans Affairs. The IRS will use the information from your 2019 benefits to generate a payment to you if you did not file tax returns in 2018 or 2019. You will receive your payment as a direct deposit or by mail, just as you would normally receive your federal benefits.