See how the Coronavirus, Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act will affect your family.
WHAT IS THE CARES Act?
A financial stimulus package aimed at providing financial relief for businesses, families, and individuals.
A tax credit is provided for 2020 of $1,200 to individual filers with adjusted gross incomes of $75,000 or less (or $112,500 or less for a head of household), and $2,400 to married couples filing jointly with adjusted gross incomes of $150,000 or less, which is to be paid in cash. There is an additional $500 refundable credit for “qualifying children” as defined under §24(c) for purposes of the child tax credit (§6428(a)). The credit is refundable (§6428(b)).
An "eligible individual" is an individual other than a nonresident alien who could have qualified as a §151 dependent to another taxpayer. Estates and trusts are not eligible for the credit (§6428(d)). Thus, dependent children of their parents are not eligible individuals, even if they have income.
Note: Individuals without income or income that comes non-taxable means-tested benefit programs like SSI benefits are also eligible for the credit/rebate.
No credit is allowed to an eligible individual who does not include the individual's valid identification number on their tax return. When figures in the credit calculation, that child's identification number must also be included on the return.
Individuals who were eligible in 2019 are deemed to have made an income tax payment for 2019 equal to the rebate amount for 2019. The rebate amount is that amount that would have been an allowable credit for 2019 if the credit provision been in effect for 2019. In short, while the credit is for 2020, CARES treats it as the return of a 2019 overpayment. However, no interest is to be paid on this deemed overpayment.
Note: If a 2019 income tax return is yet to be filed, IRS will use the taxpayer's 2018 return. If no 2018 return has been filed, IRS will use the individual's 2019 Form SSA-1099.
Since the IRS is to pay the rebate amount as soon as possible (in some cases even before a 2019 file has been filed) the rebate is sometimes referred to as an "advance refund amount." In any event, no rebates will be made or allowed after Dec. 31, 2020 (§6428(f)).
Within 15 days of distributing a rebate payment, IRS must mail a notice to the taxpayer's last known address stating how the payment was made, its amount, and a phone number to report any delivery problems.
The credit is reduced (but not below zero) by 5% of the taxpayer's adjusted gross income (AGI) in excess of:
(1) $150,000 for a joint return,
(2) $112,500 for a head of household, and
(3) $75,000 for all other taxpayers (§6428(c)).
As a result, the credit is phased-out for a single taxpayer with AGI over $99,000 and for joint filers with no children with AGI over $198,000. For a head of household with one child, the credit is phased out when AGI exceeds $146,500.
Unemployed individuals get an extra $600 per week for up to four months, on top of state unemployment benefits to make up for 100 percent of lost wages. CARES also extend unemployment insurance benefits to last an additional 13 weeks.