High-ranking officials in the federal government are confirming that the CARES Act’s $1,200 payments should reach many Americans next week.
If you had your tax refunds direct-deposited into your bank account, you should receive your one-time payment next week or soon after. It takes time to send them out electronically, and each bank has to process those payments, so actual times may vary. The IRS will use 2019 tax return information, or if you haven’t filed yet, they’ll use tax returns from 2018.
Each tax-filing adult — and those on Social Security, whether they filed taxes or not — should receive $1,200 each. Dependent children will receive $500 each. For example, a married couple who filed jointly, with one dependent child (eligible for the Child Tax Credit) would receive $2,900 next week in their bank account.
Stimulus payments will not be “paid back.” The payments will not be taxed. The amounts will not reduce tax refunds in the future, either.
Note, however, that because Trump reduced those who qualify for the Child Tax Credit — cutting children off when they reach 17 — many teens, dependent young adults, or their parents will not receive payments for them. So, no $500 payments for 17 years olds, and no $1,200 payments for 18-year-olds and up, if they’re still dependents of their parents. Congress has said they intend to also cover these non-payments, but the Republican-controlled Senate has been hostile to such proposals in the past, while generally supporting wealthier Americans over poorer ones (e.g., lowering the eligible ages for the Child Tax Credit). So, these payments may never come.
Further, Americans who requested a printed check for their tax refunds will need to wait for checks to be printed and mailed to them. Current estimates extend through August for everyone to receive those payments, though they may come much sooner.
There are other uncertainties, as well, since the entire payment system has been so rushed. The Coronavirus Crisis has reduced government and civil workforces. About a third of all working Americans are expected to become unemployed, and employment offices are overwhelmed. By ending federal “welfare” payments, over the past thirty years, there are no clear systems to help Americans in need, directly. Government agencies are scrambling to keep up.
For instance, Utah’s Department of Workforce Services will be adding an extra $600 per week to unemployed people’s support payments starting next week, as previously reported here, at the Richfield Mall.
But, these extra $600 unemployment payments — also courtesy of the CARES Act — are only being paid to “Traditional Unemployment Insurance” recipients. The CARES Act requires states to also sent support payments to self-employed workers and independent contractors. So, for that, Utah is creating a new “Pandemic Unemployment Insurance” program.
The computer programming required for new “Pandemic” unemployment program is taking time. Many states are scrambling to find programmers who know COBOL, the 1960’s era programming language thought by many to be long forgotten. The scramble is reminiscent of the Y2K crisis, when COBOL programmers needed to be found to repair computers at the turn of the century, since some important computer systems crashed when confronted with dates that no longer followed the 19xx pattern, with the switch to the year 2000 and beyond.