While the state of coronavirus pandemic does not seem to be getting any better, the Internal Revenue Service has sent out well over 150 million stimulus checks as of April 15 – totaling $267 billion.1 Many Americans have already received their checks – even deceased Americans were sent stimulus checks – while millions of others are still waiting for theirs. Now that a good portion of the country has received their economic impact payment, there is one burning question that some may have: will I need to pay taxes on my stimulus check?
The simple answer is no. According to the IRS, “the payment is not income and taxpayers will not owe tax on it. The payment will not reduce a taxpayer’s refund or increase the amount they owe when they file their 2020 tax return next year. A payment also will not affect income for purposes of determining eligibility for federal government assistance or benefit programs.”2 Essentially, stimulus checks are considered as a fully refundable tax credit for 2020, meaning it is not calculated with gross income and is not subject to taxes.
Do You Need to Do Your Taxes to Get the Stimulus Check?
Even though you do not have to pay taxes on stimulus checks, the federal government requires you to have filed returns for 2018 and 2019 to receive an economic impact payment – if you are eligible.3
What Happens If I Didn’t Receive A Stimulus Check?
If you have not received your stimulus check and believe you are owed, the IRS states you can claim the amount as a credit when it is time to file 2020 tax returns. Likewise, if you only received a partial payment of your stimulus check, you could claim the difference as a credit when it is time to file your 2020 tax returns. For further assistance, you can contact the IRS Economic Impact Payment line at 800-919-9835.
- AARP – What Is the IRS Timeline for Sending Stimulus Checks?
- Internal Revenue Service – What people really want to know about Economic Impact Payments
- Internal Revenue Service – Economic impact payments: What you need to know