Taxpayers may be getting notifications about their second stimulus check deposit from the government. With all of the news talk about the Democrat’s latest stimulus bill, it can be easy to forget that a second stimulus check was authorized at the end of last year (2020), and that these second stimulus checks have nothing to do with the newest $1,400 stimulus checks that Democrats are currently passing in March 2021.
How Many Stimulus Checks Are There?
I just got my notification from the IRS about Your Second Economic Impact Payment, aka EIP2. It says it was issued by direct deposit back in January.
So, why am I getting this letter now? The IRS loves records, you should keep this letter from the IRS with the rest of your tax records. (I recommend scanning your receipts and other records such as this letter.)
Time flies, especially during Covid, but at the end of last year, the U.S. government authorized one-time payments of $600 per taxpayer for taxpayers with an adjusted gross income below $75,000 if filing as individual, and $150,000 for married filing jointly. Those with higher incomes will see their payments reduced or eliminated.
This represents the second stimulus payment. The second stimulus payments were authorized at the end of 2020.
The first stimulus payment was the same amount of money that was issued last summer in 2020, typically in June or July for taxpayers that had accurate bank information on file.
Taxpayers will likely get a third stimulus payment of $1,400 each. This is the stimulus payment that Democrats campaigned on, and worked on passing in January 2021. Those payments have faster phase out incomes, but the income limit for receiving the full amount of the economic impact payment remains $75,000 for individuals, and $150,000 for couples. These payments will not be received until at least March 2021, and will likely continue into late spring, or early summer, for most taxpayers.
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Remember, the income referenced here refers to your Adjusted Gross Income on your federal income taxes. It is not based on your full un-taxed salary amount.
Stimulus payments are automatic for any taxpayer that filed a 2019 tax return, and for those who receive Social Security benefits. In addition, anyone who successfully registered for the first economic stimulus payment in Summer 2019.
Where Is My Second Stimulus Check
The IRS offers a tool to check on the status of your second economic stimulus payment check. Go to IRS.gov/eip to get the official IRS status of your payment. Remember you do not have to trust this link. You can go to the official IRS website at irs.gov and find the link for yourself for maximum security.
Beware Stimulus Check Scammers
It always helps to remember that the IRS does the vast majority of its business via paper mail. If you didn’t get a letter or notification in the mail before someone calls on your phone, chances are the person on the phone is a scammer. Offer to call back at a published IRS number. Do NOT use any phone number or email link provided by the person contacting you. It is easy to give out a fake phone number or email. Instead, go to IRS.gov (gov not com) and lookup your own contact information.
Anyone who pushes you for an immediate payment over the phone is a scammer. The IRS accepts payments via the mail, even for late payments. It only allows online, or phone payments AFTER you have already set up a PIN number an account to pay that way.
Remember, the IRS won’t call or otherwise contact you asking for personal or bank account information – even related to the economic impact payments.IRS Letter
Claiming Your Economic Stimulus Payment on Taxes
Economic payments are not taxable. You do not have to pay taxes on your stimulus checks and the amount you received do not count as income on your 2020 income taxes. The 2021 payments will also not be taxable income.
About the Author
By Brian Nelson – Brian is a former Certified Financial Planner and financial advisor. He is currently a freelance financial writer and writes for the Finance Gourmet and other financial publications. The material provided on this website is for informational use only and is not intended for financial or tax advice. ArcticLlama, LLC, FinanceGourmet.com, and Brian Nelson, assume no liability for any loss or damage resulting from one’s reliance on the material provided. Please also note that such material is not updated regularly and that some of the information may not therefore be current. Consult with your own tax professional when making decisions regarding your tax situation.