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As of June 3, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) had issued about 159 million direct payments to Americans — totaling nearly $267 billion — to help mitigate the financial burden of the COVID-19 pandemic. Those payments, known as Economic Impact Payments, are a key provision of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that those payments will cost a total of $292 billion through 2021.
Payments are based on a taxpayer’s adjusted gross income, filing status, and number of qualifying children (some people who don’t normally file taxes are also eligible). Taxpayers receive a payment of $1,200, or $2,400 for those filing jointly, plus $500 per qualifying child. However, those payments gradually phase out for incomes above $75,000 for single taxpayers, $112,500 for taxpayers filing as head of household, and $150,000 for married couples filing jointly. Taxpayers would be ineligible for any payment, unless they have a qualifying child, above the following income levels:
Those income thresholds would increase by $10,000 for each child.
Of the payments issued so far, 120 million were sent by direct deposit, 35 million were sent by check, and 4 million were made in the form of a pre-paid debit card. The IRS will send any remaining payments to taxpayers over the coming months. Individuals who do not usually have to file a tax return and receive certain federal benefits such as Social Security are also eligible for an automatic payment; those individuals can check their payment status with the agency’s “Get My Payment” tool. The IRS also encourages low-income individuals who aren’t normally required to file a tax return (those with income typically below $24,400 for married couples and $12,200 for singles) to use the agency’s “Non-Filers” tool.
The interactive map below shows the number, and total amount, of payments sent to taxpayers by state.Learn more about the various policy measures that Congress has taken thus far to address the coronavirus.
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