- If you file a married filed joint tax return and your spouse does not have a social security number, and you have not yet filed your 2019 US tax return, consider filing a married filing separate tax for the spouse with the SSN to receive the rebate. There are important considerations to take into account when making this decision, so please consult your US tax advisor before making this choice.
- If your 2018 income is too high to qualify for the rebate but your 2019 income is below the threshold, consider filing your 2019 tax return as soon as possible.
- If your 2018 and 2019 incomes are too high but you expect your 2020 income to be below the threshold, do not worry, your rebate will be calculated using your 2020 income when you file your 2020 tax return. This is a long time away, and does not help immediately, but your rebate should not be lost because the IRS is using 2019 or 2018 income information to issue you the payment in 2020.
- If you live overseas and you have not filed your 2018 tax return or 2019 tax return, and are considering filing to receive this payment, please speak with a tax professional before doing so. You may have offshore asset or income filing noncompliance that may result in large penalties. Your situation should be evaluated carefully before deciding to file.
- The most secure and fastest way to receive this payment is by direct deposit. If you haven’t filed your 2018 or 2019 tax return and are eligible, you should consider providing your bank account information to the IRS even if it is otherwise not necessary.
- If you have moved since filing your tax return and expect to receive a rebate check, find out if you can have your mail forwarded to your new address. IRS offices are currently closed, with IRS employees working from home and focusing on mission critical services. It is unlikely that the IRS will process a taxpayer change of address Form 8822 before the checks are issued.
- If your 2019 income disqualifies you from the stimulus payment but your 2018 income does not, consider requesting an extension of time to file your 2019 tax return and wait until after you received the rebate payment to file. According to the Act, you will not be required to repay the stimulus rebate if it was calculated based on your lower 2018 income.
- If you live abroad and use the foreign earned income exclusion, the excluded amount does not count towards the income threshold, increasing your eligibility to much higher levels of income.
- If you have not filed your 2019 tax return, are eligible for the foreign earned income exclusion but do not normally use it, consider if it makes sense electing to use it on your 2019 tax return in order to qualify for this rebate. Your future situation and plans need to be considered before making this decision, as election cannot be easily revoked or reinstated. Please consult a trusted tax advisor before making this choice.
- If your children were born or adopted in 2019 and you have not yet filed your 2019 tax return, consider filing it as soon as possible to receive the additional $500 payment per child this year. Otherwise, you will be eligible to receive the payment when you file your 2020 tax return.
Until the next post!