After earlier confusion, the U.S. Treasury Department has now announced that qualifying U.S. military veterans who get VA benefits but who didn’t file tax returns will receive their COVID-19 stimulus checks automatically.
There had been concern that some veterans would not get stimulus checks because they don’t all file tax returns or receive social security and were falling through the cracks. Many of those veterans receive VA benefits, such as pensions.
On April 17, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and IRS announced that they “are working directly with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to ensure Veterans and their beneficiaries who receive Compensation and Pension (C&P) benefit payments will receive their Economic Impact Payments automatically and without additional paperwork.” The change will mostly affect disabled and low-income veterans and their surviving family members, according to Stars and Stripes, which added that it could take weeks for veterans to get the checks.
“Economic Impact Payments will be issued automatically to our Veterans and their families who did not file tax returns for 2018 or 2019,” said Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. “The Treasury, IRS and VA are working hard to ensure our nation’s heroes receive these payments quickly and without any additional action or paperwork.”
The VA is now sharing information with Treasury so Treasury can send veterans and their families members who receive VA benefits their checks. “Many have expressed concern that veterans and their beneficiaries would be overlooked … simply because they don’t file an annual tax return,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “This collaboration will ensure our veterans receive CARES Act payments without any additional action or paperwork required.”
You can find that press release here. The Military Times noted that, since you get $500 extra for child dependents, to get that money, you need to take an extra step: “individuals who have not filed a tax return and have a dependent will need to visit the IRS web site and update their account to reflect the extra money owed.”
Here’s what you need to know:
Who Qualifies for a Stimulus Check?
People, veterans or not, still must pass certain income tests to get the stimulus check.
The press release advised:
Many non-tax filing beneficiaries have already begun using the ‘Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info‘ tool to provide basic personal information to receive their EIP. There will be no interruption to payments being processed using this online tool. Veterans with Internet access are encouraged to continue providing information.
For those who do not have access, or choose not to use the ‘Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info‘ tool, their EIP will be processed with no further action required from them.
Who is eligible for a payment?
U.S. citizens or resident aliens who, according to Treasury:
Have a valid Social Security number,
Could not be claimed as a dependent of another taxpayer, and
Had adjusted gross income under certain limits.
What are the income guidelines?
Tax filers with adjusted gross income up to $75,000 for individuals and up to $150,000 for married couples filing joint returns will receive the full payment. For filers with income above those amounts, the payment amount is reduced by $5 for each $100 above the $75,000/$150,000 thresholds. Single filers with income exceeding $99,000 and $198,000 for joint filers with no children are not eligible. Social Security recipients and railroad retirees who are otherwise not required to file a tax return are also eligible and will not be required to file a return.
Eligible taxpayers who filed tax returns for either 2019 or 2018 will automatically receive an economic impact payment of up to $1,200 for individuals or $2,400 for married couples and up to $500 for each qualifying child.