That’s Rich! – We just had a new baby in February. Are we able to adjust anything to include the new baby in this round of stimulus? Thanks! – Seth, Rome, Ohio
Seth – Another $1,400 in stimulus money eventually should find its way to you because of this new child. But there is a but. You’ll have to wait until next year for this money.
The IRS has said that it will not send out payments this year factoring in new births and adoptions occurring in 2021. This is because the payments automatically being issued are based on the latest tax return in hand, from either 2019 or 2020.
But next year, when you are filling out your 2021 tax form, you will be able to “claim a 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit for the child,” assuming you meet the other conditions, including the income limits, the IRS said as part of a recently published Q&A covering births and adoptions.
This also is a reminder for parents who added children at any point in 2020. Claim your first two stimulus payments – $1,100 in total per child – in filing your 2020 tax forms this spring. The first two rounds of automatic payments were based on 2018 or 2019 tax forms; so the IRS didn’t know about 2020 births at that time.
Ruby – This is has been a moving target since the first stimulus a year ago. Last summer, the IRS asked people to return money sent to those who had died before the payment arrived. But Congress in December cleaned this up, making it clear the money could be kept for the first two rounds of stimulus as long as the person in question didn’t die in 2019 or earlier. This meant that a surviving spouse or estate was entitled to the cash, the IRS said.
Now comes the third stimulus, which as you noted was signed into law on March 11. The only change in the previous policy announced so far is the cutoff date for when a person died. “Payments will not be made to estates or trusts, or for individuals who died before January 1, 2021,” the IRS announced in an update on Tuesday.
That’s Rich! – Hoping you might shed some light on our situation with regards to the latest stimulus payment. My husband and I file jointly and received the first two stimulus payments in full. We are under the $160,000 threshold. We received only $1,400 for the third payment. – Kathy
Kathy – I came up with two possibilities.
No. 1. The IRS says that in some cases couples filing joint returns may receive separate payments this time – half as a direct deposit and the other have through the mail.
No. 2. Here’s another possibility, if your income changed. Your latest income may be too high to receive the full amount. A couple with adjusted gross income of $155,000 would be entitled to $1,400 stimulus ($700 per person) – half the full amount. Payments phase down from the full $1,400 per person at $150,000 ($75,000 for individual filers) to $0 at $160,000 ($80,000 for individuals).
That’s Rich! – If someone takes early retirement choosing COBRA as bridge to Medicare are they eligible for payment subsidy? – Robert, Broadview Heights
Robert – The special government pickup to take care of COBRA health insurance premiums from April 1 through September applies only to those who whose coverage was terminated because their employer eliminated their job or reduced their hours, not for those who left voluntarily. This includes people who lost coverage before April 1 because of these reasons.
That’s Rich! – We received around $875 or so (instead of the full stimulus amount). I was told this was due to the fact that we just made over $150,000 in 2019. We both retired at the end of 2019 so our 2020 income is just from Social Security; it is considerably less. Is there any way to inform the government of our reduced income in case there are more stimulus checks to come or are they always going to be based on our 2019 income and tax filing? – Terry, North Royalton
Terry – Yes. This is yet another situation where things can be cleaned up for you to receive the remaining amount in filing your taxes for 2020.
Also, here’s an important note for another group of people – those whose income in 2021 will exceed the limit for the first time. They won’t be asked to return any stimulus money.
In IRS speak: “There is no provision in the law that would require individuals who qualify for a Third Economic Impact Payment or an additional payment based on their 2020 or 2019 information, to pay back all or part of the payment if, based on the information reported on their 2021 tax returns, they would have qualified for a lesser amount.”
That’s Rich! We received the first relief payment. It was deposited directly into our checking account, but we did not receive the second payment. Our income did not change. Do you have any idea why we didn’t get it and can we still apply for it? – Dennis and Claudia
Dennis and Claudia – I’m wondering if it may have been mailed and you missed it. I received my first and third stimulus payments via direct deposit, but the second one came as a paper check in the mail.
People who have yet to receive their third stimulus should watch their mail closely. The IRS says payments are being made by direct deposit, or by the mailing of paper checks and debit cards. You also may be able to determine if the IRS issued the payment by using the “get my payment” tool at irs.gov.
Otherwise, claim the missing money in filling out your tax forms.
That’s Rich! – Wanted to let you know that many Ohioans are still waiting for Biden’s PUA (Pandemic Unemployment Assistance) extension to be implemented by ODJFS (Ohio Department of Job and Family Services). They are once again blaming fraud and programming. The extension does not change the amounts or program in any way so there is no way the programming takes that long to implement. – Liz
Liz – Your email arrived the same day, March 23, that the state announced that its system was up and running for people in the traditional unemployment program, but not yet for those in the separate pandemic program known as PUA.
“While this work is under way, those with PUA weeks remaining from the previous extension can continue to claim them if they remain unemployed, through April 10,” the announcement said.
When completed, the checks should be retroactive for any eligible weeks. But I know that doesn’t help with bills due now. I asked twice this week, but did not hear back from the unemployment office with any update on the PUA program.
As to why traditional unemployment extensions and the $300 supplemental payments for those people were taken care ahead of the PUA program, “The most recent federal legislation provided straightforward extensions of these programs, which makes them quicker to implement,” ODJFS Interim Director Matt Damschroder said in the March 23 announcement.
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