Bookstein Institute

VITA: Economic Impact Payment

The Economic Impact Payment (EIP), or as commonly known as the stimulus check, is a one-time payment to eligible individuals authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will calculate and automatically send the Payments to most eligible individuals. For more information about the EIP, please visit


Who is eligible?

You may be eligible to receive a Payment if you:

  • Are a U.S. citizen or U.S. resident alien;
  • Cannot be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s return;
  • Have a Social Security number (SSN) that is valid for employment (valid SSN); and
    • Exception: If either spouse is a member of the U.S. Armed Forces at any time during the taxable year, then only one spouse needs to have a valid SSN
  • Have adjusted gross income (AGI) below the filing threshold based on your filing status and the number of your qualifying children.

How much are the Payments?

$1,200 For Individuals$2,400 For Married Couples$1,200 For Head of Household
whose AGI is $75,000 or lesswhose AGI is $150,000 or lesswhose AGI is $112,500 or less
+500 per child under 17 claimed as a dependent

The Payment amount is reduced by 5% of the amount that your adjusted gross income exceeds $75,000 ($112,500 for taxpayers filing as head of household or $150,000 for taxpayers filing a joint return), until it is $0.

The Payment will be reduced to $0 once the adjusted gross income reaches the following thresholds:

  • $198,000 for taxpayers filing a joint return
  • $136,500 for taxpayers filing as head of household
  • $99,000 for all others

What do I need to do to get a Payment?

If you have already filed your 2018 or 2019 federal income tax return, you do not need take any further action. The IRS will use the information from the most recent tax return to calculate the Payment amount.

For example, if you filed 2018, but haven’t filed 2019, the IRS will use the information from your 2018 tax return.

Certain individuals do not need take any action, regardless if they filed or not, since the IRS will automatically enroll them to receive the Payment. You may be eligible if you:

  • Received Social Security retirement, SSDI, survivor’s benefits, SSI, or Railroad Retirement benefits in 2019
  • Received Compensation and Pension (C&P) benefit payments from VA

I haven’t filed my 2018 or 2019 tax return. How can I fix that?

The IRS urges you to file as soon as possible if you haven’t already to receive the Payment. You can use any of the following tools below to file a federal income tax return. All tools were provided and approved by the IRS:

You can use the Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here tool to provide simple information to the IRS so you can get your Payment. U.S. citizens and permanent residents can use this tool if they had gross income that did not exceed $12,200 ($24,400 for married couples filing jointly) for 2019 and were not otherwise required to file a federal income tax return for 2019, and didn't plan to do so. This is the quickest way to get your payment.

You can use the Free File: Do Your Federal Taxes for Free tool to prepare and file your own taxes online. If your annual income is $69,000 and below, you may be eligible to electronically file your own taxes for free. You can also file an extension with the Form 4868.

Use the VITA/TCE Locator tool to locate an open VITA site near you. Please note that a number of VITA sites and all TCE sites are closed for an undetermined period of time. The CSUN VITA Clinic is currently not making any appointments at this time.

How will I receive my Payment?

The IRS will issue your Payment either by direct deposit or check.

If you received direct deposit of your refund based on your 2018 or 2019 tax return, whichever is more recent, the IRS will send the Payment to the bank account you provided. The IRS will default to sending a check if the bank account is:

  • Closed
  • Bank information is invalid or incorrect

If you filed your 2018 or 2019 tax return, but did not provide direct deposit, your Payment will be mailed to the address most recently reported on your tax return. If the address is incorrect or you have moved since you last filed your taxes, you will need to mail Form 8822 Change of Address to the IRS to update their records.

If you’d like to have direct deposit, you have the opportunity to provide bank account information through the IRS Get My Payment tool before your Payment is processed. Direct deposit is the fastest way to receive your Payment.

Is the Payment taxable or do I need to repay it?

No, the Payment is not income and you will not owe tax on your Payment. It will not reduce your refund or increase the amount you owe when you file your 2020 tax return next year.

There is no provision in the law requiring repayment of a Payment. If you owe Tax, have a Payment agreement with the IRS, or owe other federal or state debts, the Payment will not be reduced as an offset. The only exception to this past-due child support.

Where can I check the status of my Payment or add my bank information?

Use the Get My Payment tool to provide your banking information or learn the status of your Payment.

Beware of scams.

The IRS will not call, email, or text you about your Payment. The IRS will not contact you to request personal or bank account information. Watch out for websites and social media attempts that request money or personal information and for schemes tied to Economic Impact Payments.