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2020 Recovery Rebates
All US residents with adjusted gross incomes up to $75,000 ($150,000 for married couples, $125,000 for heads of household) will receive a $1,200 rebate ($2,400 for married couples). In addition, taxpayers with children (under age 17 at the end of 2019) listed on their tax return will receive $500/child. For those with incomes over this threshold, the credit is reduced by $5 for each $100 that a taxpayer’s income exceeds the threshold.
This rebate is based on your 2018 tax return unless you’ve already filed your 2019 tax return. Therefore, if your income is too high to receive the rebate in 2018, but you expect it to be low enough in 2019 to receive the credit, you should file your taxes immediately. Similarly, if your 2019 income is higher than 2018 and you have not filed yet, you should hold off on filing until the rebate is paid. This rebate may be reconciled with your 2020 tax return, but the IRS has not issued guidance on this yet.
If you have set up direct deposit with the IRS for your tax refund, your rebate will be automatically deposited to the same account. If your address has changed since you last filed your tax return, you should file a change of address form (Form 8822) with the IRS to ensure that you receive all communications regarding the rebate. Keep in mind that the IRS will not call you to verify bank account information. If you receive a call from the IRS to verify bank information, it is likely a scam.
Student Loan Payments Delayed and Education Benefits
Federal Student loan payments are deferred to September 30, 2020. During that time, no interest will accrue, and borrowers will be deemed to have made their payments for purposes of loan forgiveness programs. Deferral of payments will not count negatively on a borrower’s credit report. The deferral is automatic, and you do not have to apply for the change to take effect. Keep in mind that there is no fee to defer payment, so if you receive a call asking you to pay a fee to begin deferral it is likely a scam.
Unemployment Insurance Expanded
There were several provisions regarding unemployment insurance that were expanded, including increasing the amount and duration of benefits, waiving waiting periods, and loosening qualification requirements. If you find yourself in a period of unemployment, please contact your employer.