With the signing of the COVID-19 relief package, the federal government will begin issuing stimulus checks to qualifying Americans, and millions who have been struggling throughout this pandemic will get some much-needed relief. While the signing of this bill was certainly a positive for many, we realize it also comes with a number of important questions. There are still many unknowns and news surrounding the COVID-19 relief bill is being updated seemingly daily, but hopefully we can quell some concerns you may have by answering some of the questions we heard when the first stimulus paychecks were sent out in March.
Who Will Receive Stimulus Payments?
As the COVID-19 relief bill that has been signed into law stands now, adults and children earning up to $75,000 annually will receive $600 direct payment checks. Individuals who earn between $75,000 and $99,000 will get smaller checks, and those earning over $99,000 will not receive a stimulus payment.
There has been a push from legislators and the President to increase the stimulus check amount from $600 to $2000, but for now, those talks have stalled.
We wish we were able to provide more information, but Michigan First does not receive information from the IRS on any of our individual members’ eligibility or the amount of the money you will receive. If you are looking to learn more, TurboTax – the tax-help sit – has published a calculator to help users determine whether they can expect to receive a stimulus payment.
When will People Begin Receiving Checks?
According to the House Committee on Ways and Means, the IRS is working to make payments in late 2020 and early 2021. The IRS does not provide Michigan First with any information on when individuals will receive their payments. Unfortunately, because of this, we are unable to tell you specifically when you will receive your personal payment.
Due to mailing delays, those who have set up direct deposit will receive funds first. Based on what we learned when the first stimulus checks went out in March, the process of issuing payments will take several weeks and people will receive them at varying times. Please use online banking or our mobile app to view your most recent deposits and availability of funds.
In times like this, we are able to see countless examples of people going above and beyond to help others and do the right thing. Unfortunately, there are also those out there looking to take advantage of the situation in an effort to defraud individuals.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) are warning consumers about a scam in which individuals receive phone calls or emails offering to expedite the check delivery in exchange for a small fee. The IRS will not be contacting anyone by phone, email, text message, or social media with information about stimulus payments. Should you need to provide anything to the IRS, you should only use irs.gov/coronavirus to submit any information.
Scammers are constantly evolving their strategies to separate people from their hard-earned money, so it is difficult to warn against every possibility. We hope you will become active participants in your own security by always monitoring your account and credit card activity.
If you get a call, text or email from someone claiming to be from Michigan First, proceed with caution. We will never ask you for account passwords, PIN number, debit or credit card number or other sensitive account information. Do not respond to an email, text, or questions over the phone. Instead, immediately hang up and call us back at 800.664.3828. If you think something seems suspicious, follow your instincts and give us a call. We are always here to help keep your accounts safe.
When the first round of direct stimulus payments went out in March 2020, many of the questions we heard were related to how the checks will affect taxes. The House Committee on Ways & Means has released a useful FAQ-sheet to clear up some common misconceptions. Specifically, the Committee makes it clear that the payment will not be counted as taxable income. If you have specific concerns related to your taxes, we encourage you to speak with a tax professional.
We know these are confusing times and a very unique situation, to learn more about the second round of stimulus payments, visit www.irs.gov/coronavirus.