FAQs: Mixed-Status Families and Stimulus Checks

Millions of Americans in mixed-status families who were previously denied stimulus checks could soon receive direct payments as part of a bipartisan COVID-19 relief deal reached in Congress on December 21.

While the bill still awaits President Trump’s signature, there are many questions about who is eligible, how much money families can expect and how the retroactive checks will work. The American Business Immigration Coalition, along with NILC, NYIC, The Immigration Hub and Mixed Status Families United, hosted an hour-long seminar on December 23 with experts to discuss how this will play out and to answer questions directly from mixed-status families.

Here are some useful FAQ’s that were discussed during the webinar:

What are the eligibility criteria for stimulus checks for mixed-status families??

  • The full credit amount is $600 per individual, $1,200 per couple, and $600 for children. It is available for individuals with AGI at or below $75,000 ($112,500 for heads of household), and couples with AGI at or below $150,000. If you have children, you will receive an additional $600 per child. For those above this income level, your tax rebate amount will be reduced by $5 for each $100 your AGI exceeds the above thresholds.

When will you receive a retroactive check, and how?

  • The IRS will use the data it already has in its system to begin making payments at the end of December through the first two weeks of January. If the IRS has your direct deposit information, you will receive a payment that way. If it does not, you will receive your payment as a check or debit card in the mail. If you are eligible but don’t receive your check for any reason, you can claim the payment when you file your 2020 taxes in the spring of 2021.

Will you owe any taxes in stimulus checks?

  • The credit is not taxable, consistent with other refundable tax credits.

Anything I should be doing right now to prepare?

  • If you are eligible and the IRS does not have your direct deposit information, you will receive your payment as a paper check or a debit card as long as the IRS has your address. If the IRS does not have updated contact information for you, you will have the opportunity to claim the payment when you file a tax return in spring 2021.
  • For those with taxable income, you will need to file a tax return for the 2020 tax year, which you can do during the coming filing season that is expected to begin in late January and end on April 15, 2021. Those with little or no taxable income are encouraged to use the IRS’ Free File Program.
  • Other than Social Security beneficiaries (retirement and disability), railroad retirees, and those receiving veterans benefits, individuals with no taxable income will be able to file a simple form provided by the IRS specifically for the purpose of receiving the rebate check.

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