Apr 2, 2020

By now, you probably know that the President signed into law the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act, which, among other things, provides for stimulus payments to Americans. That’s great news for most people. 

What you may not know is that tax returns that you have filed with the federal government will determine 1) the amount of your payment, and 2) how you receive these funds. Read on to better understand what you should do, TODAY, if you haven’t already. 

To understand what you can expect, and whether you are eligible for the payment, the IRS refers to information contained on your tax returns. Single filers are eligible for a $1,200 payment. Married filers are eligible for a $2,400 payment. For every child under the age of 17, the payment increases by $500. 

There are some disqualifiers, as well. Higher income individuals may receive a lower payment, decreasing to zero, based on their adjusted gross income (AGI). Single filers who reported AGI of more than $75,000, and married filers who jointly reported AGI of more than $150,000 are not eligible to receive the full amount of the payment. Contact us today for more information. 

If you’re eligible, great, but you may still need to take action if one of the two scenarios below applies to you: 


  1. You haven’t filed your 2019 or 2018 return yet: You should act immediately and contact your Liberty Tax® professional. The IRS will use the more recent of these two tax filings to calculate your stimulus payment. (*Those who don’t file an income return because they are on Social Security will receive payment based on their Form 1099-SA, not a tax return.)


  1. You haven’t filed your 2019 tax return yet: If you filed a return for the tax year 2018, but have not yet filed your 2019 return, it may be beneficial to speak with a Liberty Tax® professional first. If you earned greater than $75,000 AGI in 2018, but less than that in 2019, it could benefit you to get your 2019 return filed as soon as possible. Also, it’s possible that your marital or dependent status changed between the two years, which could make a difference. It’s worth a consultation with a Liberty Tax® professional to understand your options.


There could be an advantage to waiting to file your 2019 tax return, depending on the difference in your AGI for the two years. For instance, if you earned greater than $75,000 AGI in 2019, but less than that in 2018, it could make a difference in the amount of payment you receive.

We are communicating daily with the IRS on this situation, and will provide our customers with updates when available.