coronavirus stimulus checks will be issued to millions of Americans in the coming weeks, as a part of a $2 trillion stimulus package which was approved by the Senate and House of Representatives earlier this week. The stimulus checks will be sent to a specific group of tax-paying Americans, and is specifically aimed towards individuals earning less than $99,000, or joint households earning less than $198,000 cumulatively. For that reason, many people might be wondering if having debt, or owing the government money, excludes you from receiving a stimulus check.
No, it does not. In a post on Medium, Sen. Chuck Grassley, the chairman of the Finance Committee and a key author of the bill, explained,
…the bill turns off nearly all administrative offsets that ordinarily may reduce tax refunds for individuals who have past tax debts, or who are behind on other payments to federal or state governments, including student loan payments.
Here’s what you need to know:
There’s Only One Form of ‘Debt’ That Will Prevent Americans Who Qualify for the Stimulus Check From Receiving One
If you owe any form of debt to a federal or state agency, or a credit card company, you will not be prevented from receiving a stimulus check. In his post for Medium, Grassley explained, “The only administrative offset that will be enforced applies to those who have past due child support payments that the states have reported to the Treasury Department.”
So if you owe child support, you might not receive the stimulus check, depending on how your state has reported this information to the government.
When you do receive your check, you’ll be free to use that money however you choose. You can even put it towards whatever debt you have, or you can put it towards rent, or you can even use it to buy some clothing, therefore helping to stimulate the economy. Of course, if you don’t have any payments you have to make, you have the right to save that money, too.
The stimulus checks will be sent to people based off of 2018 or 2019 tax returns, whichever was filed last. For this reason, your check will be sent to the address that the IRS has on file, in relation to your 2018 or 2019 tax form. If you checked the option for direct deposit on either of these tax returns, then your stimulus check will likely be sent to you by direct deposit, as has been done in the past.
The amount that you receive in your stimulus check will depend on how much money you made in the year you last filed your taxes, either 2018 or 2019. Acorns has created a stimulus check calculator to help you figure out exactly how much you can expect to receive in the mail. And no, whatever debt you may have, whether it’s student loans or credit card payments, should not affect this amount.