Understanding The CARES Act and Stimulus Payments
Update on Stimulus Payments:
Members are starting to see stimulus payments deposited. If you filed your income taxes in 2018 or 2019 and provided direct deposit information to the IRS, your stimulus check could be on its way or deposited. Paper stimulus payment checks began mailing on April 20th, but will take many weeks to complete.
Consider using your stimulus payment to:
- Boost the economy by purchasing items online.
- Support local retailers – buy from a smaller mom and pop store.
- Buy a gift card for future use.
- Save to use for upcoming expenses or pay off other debt.
NOTE: KALSEE Credit Union will never ask for any personal information. Please do not share any information with potential fraudsters.
The IRS Economic Impacts Payments webpage allows you to check your payment status, payment type (direct deposit or check), update your bank account information for direct deposit, and check info for non-tax filers.
Stimulus Check Scams
In order to issue a potential stimulus check or payment, the government will rely on IRS information. They already have all your personal and financial information, so beware any contact (via email, via phone, etc.) asking you to verify info or pay anything up front. The government will not charge any fees for your stimulus payment, nor is there any means by which you can get your funds early. Only scammers will tell you otherwise. Stimulus checks will be the same as Treasury checks for tax refund payments, except for the memo line. They will arrive via USPS (not FedEx or UPS).
It’s $2.2 trillion in relief with the consumers receiving payments in the coming weeks.
On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, into law. Forbes.com reports that CARES is “a $2 trillion package aimed at combating the economic damage from the Coronavirus crisis.”
Economist, Nicole Kaeding, explains to Forbes that “the CARES Act was all about economic relief. It was based on this idea that for the next several weeks, perhaps next several months, we have told businesses to shut their doors. Except for a few favorite industries, like grocery stores and banks, everyone else is at home. We need them to do that to control the public health response to the virus, but that means those businesses are taking a hit to revenue.” (Source: Forbes.com.)
The CARES Act is designed to provide relief to individuals and businesses alike. Benefits include:
- Stimulus checks or “recovery rebates” will be provided to taxpayers. For many individuals, this will be the most critical component of the CARES Act. The stimulus checks, sometimes called recovery rebates, will be on their way soon to approximately 175 million Americans. The amount equals $1,200 per person and the $500 per child payments that will be coming out over the next several weeks. There are some restrictions. Click here to learn more.
- Unemployment benefits have increased. Workers can expect up to $600 additional per week. Workers who have been laid off or lost their job and have earned wages in Michigan in the last 18 months may qualify. All applicants will need to pass an earnings test. Consumers can call 866.500.0017 to file a claim.
For additional information, here are a few websites to explore:
- The tax deadline is extended. Filers now have until July 15, 2020, to file and/or make their payments. This includes amounts owed for local, state, and federal payments. “The Treasury has given taxpayers a bit of relief, and they are delaying all the April 15 deadlines, both for the 2019 tax year, but also for the 2020 first-quarter estimated payments,” adds Kaeding.
However, Quarter two has not yet been extended, so for now, the payment for Quarter two is still due June 15, while the payment for Quarter one due on July 15. Continue to monitor this for any possible updates.
- Small business loans are available. The Small Business Administration is disbursing loans to businesses affected by COVID-19. The business can use it to help make payroll over the coming months. Kaeding notes that the loans will be forgiven if they meet certain criteria. For guidance, visit the SBA website at https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources.
More about the stimulus payments:
Consumers will receive their payments in various methods from the Treasury Department. How you receive your payment depends on the information the Treasury has based on your previous year’s tax filing method. “The Treasury will first use the direct deposit information they already have,” explains Kaeding. “If we look at filing season data from last year, there were approximately 156 million tax returns filed in the United States. Of that 156 million, 93 million individuals and households received direct deposit tax refunds, which is about 60% of total returns. So, the IRS has direct deposit information for those 93 million households, and they will use that.”
For those with current direct deposit information, watch for the funds in the next few weeks. For those without current information on file, payment in the form of a paper check could take up to eight weeks.
Forbes.com reports that The House Ways and Means Committee says check distribution could work like this:
- Week of April 13, 2020: 60 million checks distributed through direct deposit
- Week of May 4, 2020: The IRS will start sending paper stimulus checks.
- Each week thereafter: Approximately 5 million paper checks will be issued each week.
Kaeding adds that the rebates are going to be advanced to taxpayers based on their 2018 or their 2019 tax information, whichever the IRS has access to, but they’re based on the 2020 tax year. “It’s very easy to imagine a scenario in which someone did not qualify based on 2018 or 2019 because their income was too high. But suddenly, in 2020, they are eligible because they have been laid off, their hours have been reduced, or some sort of change to their income.” (Source: Forbes.com.)
Additional Resource, “How to get your $1,200 Stimulus Check”: https://poverty.umich.edu/stimulus-checks/
Watch for scammers.
Unfortunately, when a crisis occurs, the scammers emerge and this will be true of the stimulus payments. Be wary of any solicitations regarding your funds. To receive your payment, the government will rely on the Treasury information – and they already have your personal and financial information. Do not provide any contact information or reply if asked to verify any data or pay anything upfront.
The government will not charge any fees for your stimulus payment, nor is there any means by which you can get your funds early. Only scammers will tell you otherwise. Read more about current COVID-19 scams here.
For assistance navigating the CARES Act, contact us at 269.382.7800. Or if you need additional relief assistance, let us know right away. We’re here to work with you through this extraordinary time.
Sources (as of 4/8/2020):