In late March, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Opens in new window This $2 trillion aid and stimulus package aims to prevent an economic plummet in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. Beyond providing financial help to businesses, local governments and hospitals, the CARES Act aids individuals with direct payments to those who qualify (starting with a Social Security number). Here are key elements of the bill that could impact you directly.
While most Americans will receive a one-time payment — essentially a tax rebate — the amount you’ll get depends on the adjusted gross income (AGI) you reported on your 2019 tax return (or your 2018 return if you haven’t filed yet).
Specifically, individuals with AGIs up to $75,000 will receive $1,200. The payment gets smaller for incomes over $75,000 and phases out entirely for AGIs above $99,000.
The rules are similar for married couples filing jointly: They’ll receive $2,400 for combined income up to $150,000, with payments decreasing up to $198,000.
Additionally, families receive $500 for each dependent child age 16 or younger.
If the IRS has your bank account information on file, they’ll deposit the money directly into your account; if not, they’ll send you a check.