Getting your stimulus check

By Terry Savage, Tribune Content Agency on

When the CARES Act was signed into law on March 27, the headlines were all about the $1,200 stimulus checks ($2,400 for those married filing jointly) that will be given to people who fall within certain income limits, plus $500 for each dependent under 17. The government promised that even people who earned too little to be required to file tax returns would be found and paid.

Now those promises appear more difficult to fulfill than anticipated. Here's an update on the basics and what you should know to get your stimulus check.

--Stimulus for tax filers

If you haven't filed your 2019 return (it isn't due until July 15), the stimulus check will go to the direct deposit account or mailing address listed on your 2018 return. If you can, file your 2019 return now so the IRS has your latest adjusted gross income, as well as the direct deposit information (if you're getting a refund) or mailing address which the IRS will use to issue your stimulus check.

Please note:

If you filed a return and didn't get a refund, you cannot get direct deposit of your stimulus check. Instead, a paper check will come in the mail to the address on your most recent filing.


If the bank account you used to receive your last refund is closed, you will receive a paper check in the mail.

If your last refund went on my Emerald Card, TurboTax card or other payment card, it's unclear how the stimulus payment will be handled. Hopefully, the IRS will give guidance soon.

If your tax refund went to a tax preparer, who sent it on to you, your stimulus payment will go to the authorized direct deposit account in your latest filed tax return, either 2018 or 2019. If no direct deposit account was indicated on your latest return, a paper check will be sent to the most recent address on your tax return.

--Stimulus for Social Security recipients who don't file tax returns


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