Payments will be direct deposited in your bank account or mailed to you in a check. The IRS plans to use the information you gave them when you filed your 2019 taxes. They only use your 2018 tax information if you have not filed for 2019.
The IRS uses the information on your tax return to send you the money. It might be to:
The bank account you gave the IRS for direct deposit of your refund
If you have not filed taxes for 2019 or 2018, you need to file a tax form to get a payment. See the sections “What if I haven’t filed my 2019 taxes yet?” and “What if I don’t usually file tax returns?” below.
You can file your 2019 taxes now. The tax filing deadline is July 15, 2020. If you don’t file, the IRS uses the information from your 2018 taxes to figure out how much you get and where to deposit or send your money.
The IRS will use the information from Social Security to send you a payment. They will do this for Social Security retirement, disability (SSDI) or survivor benefits recipients and railroad retirees who otherwise don’t file a tax return. If you get your payments through a representative payee and you haven’t gotten your payment yet, you should get it in late May.
Go to the IRS website and use the “Get My Payment” option to check on your payment: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment. If the IRS has already started working on your payment, you can’t update your information. You will get a check in the mail if they can’t do direct deposit.
A family gets $500 for each dependent, qualifying child under the age of 17. The same rules used for the Child Tax Credit decide who is a qualifying child for the payment. The payments are based on your 2019 taxes, and the information about your child listed there.
If you are divorced or share custody of a child, the same rules about who claims the child on your tax return decide who gets the payment for the child(ren). See our fact sheet Can I Claim a Child on My Tax Return.
If you have a dependent child who is over 17, then you do not get the extra $500.
If a college student is not a dependent of their parent(s), they are eligible for the payment based on their own income.
If a full-time college student is under 24 and gets more than half their support from their parent(s) then they are a dependent. But, the parent(s) can’t get the extra $500 for them, because they are over 17.
If your income in 2019 was above the amount to get a check, then you won’t get a payment now. But, because the money is actually a tax credit for 2020, you might get a refund or rebate next year when you file your 2020 tax return.
Immigrants who worked legally and filed taxes in 2018 or 2019 or can file taxes in 2019 are eligible.
If you get a payment or not depends on 2 things:
Everyone on your tax return needs to have a Social Security number in order to get the payment. This means when you file the tax return, you, your spouse and any children claimed as dependents must have a social security number.
You must be considered a ‘resident alien’ for tax purposes. This includes most people who have a green card, are asylees or refugees, or are living full time and working legally in the U.S. Get help from a tax preparer or legal aid if you are not sure if you are a ‘resident alien.’
Undocumented people aren’t eligible for a payment. Everyone listed on your tax return must have a social security number in their own name for your family to get the payment. The social security number must be valid.