Donald Trump signed on Friday the CARES Act, a $2 trillion stimulus package to help the U.S. economy and workforce in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. It is the larges stimulus package in U.S. history.
Included in the package are direct payments to many Americans: $1,200 per individuals and couples would receive $2,400 plus an additional $500 per child. Additionally, $150 billion to help the healthcare industry; $500 billion for state and local governments and companies; and $350 billion in loans and assistance for small businesses.
The payments would start phasing out for individuals with an adjusted gross income of $75,000. Per the bill, “The amount would then be reduced by $5 for every additional $100 of adjusted gross income, and those making more than $99,000 would not receive anything.”
Income would generally be based on one’s 2019 or 2018 tax returns and would be deposited into individuals’ bank accounts via direct deposit as long as they’ve authorized the IRS to send their tax refund that way over the past two years. If not, individual checks would be mailed.
For the unemployed, the government will provide those who’ve filed for unemployment with a $600 weekly stipend for up to four months, on top of states benefits recipients already receive. These payments are designated for people who have been laid off, furloughed or out-of-work members of the gig economy.
Americans should start getting checks within three weeks, according to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
Here’s a brief Q&A via NBCNews.
Q: Do You Qualify If You Are Not An American Citizen?
As long as you are living and working in the U.S. with a valid Social Security number, green card, and/or work visa.
Q: Are the cash payments taxable?
Q: Do I have to pay the government back what I receive?
No. The money is considered a tax credit.
Q: What if I’m homeless or recently got out of prison? Will I get a check?
As long as you have a Social Security number, according to the IRS.
Q: I owe back taxes. Will I get a stimulus check?
No, your payment will not be affected if you owe back taxes to federal and or state governments.
Q: I’m behind on child support payments. Does that affect me?
Yes, the IRS may reduce the amount you receive if you have past due child support that has been reported by the states to the U.S. Treasury Department.
This story is developing.
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