I really tried to find a picture of people hysterically running in all directions out of a huge burning IRS office. But these are IRS Agents. And we all know they move in slow motion. So, we'll have to take what we can get. Which is the above IRS agents evacuating their office slowly and meticulously. (Truth be told, it is a generic picture of normal people evacuating a normal building. But please pretend they are IRS Agents, because they really could be.)
Now, when you or I get asked to go home because of COVID-19, it is called a layoff, or a furlough, or Family Leave Time, or just "time off". But when the IRS sends their employees home due to COVID-19, they call it an EVACUATION.
I actually got an Email from the IRS telling me they were EVACUATING their employees! OK then. That's exciting. Due to the Coronavirus.
They have abandoned their phone lines, fax lines, mail portals and public offices. Any attempt to contact the IRS right now is nothing more than a futile attempt. And that may not be all that bad, because if they are not available to be contacted, then they probably are making no attempt to contact us either!
We do know there are a few employees working still because apparently the Stimulus Payments are being processed. We even heard from a very excited client last night who received a deposit of $2,700 into his bank account. He is going to dutifully stimulate the economy by buying a new Tesla with it.
So, let's go over some of the facts about the Stimulus Payments that will hopefully answer any questions you may have.
Who Gets It? Everyone! Unless you make decent money or are claimed by someone else. If you are claimed by someone else, and you are under the age of 17, whoever claimed you (your parents) will get your share of the pie. If your Adjusted Gross Income is more than $75,000 for single filers or $150,000 married, Congress has deemed you as "rich" and you will not get your full Stimulus Payment, if any at all. Note that if you are over 16 and claimed by your parents, NO ONE gets your piece of the pie.
How Much Is It? $1,200 per adult and $500 per child.
What Are They Basing That Off Of? They will base the income and number of children (as well as your banking information) from your 2019 tax return. If you haven't filed your 2019 tax return yet, they will base it off of your 2018 tax return.
What If I Don't Have To File For Either Year? The IRS has a portal on its website (link below) where you can input your critical data and thus get the Stimulus Check. They called this "filing a Simple Return", which is horribly confusing. It really isn't even a Tax Return. It's just a website you type stuff in to.
What If I Didn't Use Direct Deposit And I Want My Stimulus Money Direct Deposited? The IRS Website has a portal for that as well. (link below). Last I checked, it was not operational, but it is supposed to be by the end of this week. BONUS!! It apparently will also tell you when you will get your payment!
What Impact Will This Have On My 2020 Tax Return? Technically, the Stimulus Payment is an advance payment of a very special 2020 tax credit. On your 2020 tax return, you will use a new Tax Form (Woo Hoo!! Let's hear it for the creation of more Forms!!) to calculate the credit, based on income and dependents, and then compare that to what you actually received. If you didn't get everything you should have, your 2020 refund will go up accordingly. If they paid you more than what your credit is, my expectation is that you won't have to pay it back. But, like everything with tax law and Coronavirus right now, that is subject to change. (NOTE!!!: Be sure to keep a copy of your Stimulus Payment or at least remember how much it was because your Tax Preparer will be asking you for that amount next tax season!)
When Will I Get My Money? That is a complete mystery. Apparently some who have Direct Deposit are getting theirs right now. If you will be getting a check, it could be many months before it arrives. In fact, the law, as passed, says the money has to be distributed by December 31, 2020. And the IRS moves very slow when it comes to printing checks. So, DO NOT call the Tesla dealer until you have the green cash in your hands.
The page has a link to both portals.
And you thought taxes and accounting were boring! No! There's nothing like LIFE IN THE TAX LANE!