Make Ends Meet: The real deal on stimulus checks

Make Ends Meet: The real deal on stimulus checks

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Millions of Americans are struggling with their finances.

Many are eagerly awaiting a lifeline thrown their way in the form of a stimulus check. Any adult earning up to $75,000 in adjusted gross income will receive a $1,200 payment. The payment steadily declines $5 for every $100 for those who make more, and phases out for those who earn more than $99,000.

For married couples, both adults receive $1,200, with the phase-out starting at $150,000 of combined gross income, and falling to zero for couples who earn $198,000. Families will get an additional $500 per every child 16 years old or younger. Though the first direct deposits of stimulus payments have already begun arriving, physical checks are expected to be mailed starting April 24.

Nicholas Maraman, a senior attorney for the Louisville Legal Aid Society’s Economic Stability Unit, provided some answers to a few frequently-asked questions about the economic impact payments.

WAVE 3 News: “Will your stimulus check be taxed?”

Maraman: “The stimulus checks are not taxable income. You will not have to pay taxes on it, and you will not have to repay this money later.”

WAVE 3 News: “Will receiving a stimulus check cut into my 2020 tax refund at all?”

Maraman: “These checks will have nothing to do with your tax refund for 2020.”

WAVE 3 News: “Can I get a stimulus check if I don’t have direct deposit?

Maraman: “You can still get a stimulus check if you don’t have direct deposit. The nice thing the IRS is doing with the paper checks, though, is they are prioritizing them and they are going to send out the people with the lower incomes first since they realize these people are probably the neediest.”

WAVE 3 News: “Are benefits recipients ineligible for a stimulus check?

Maraman: “Benefit recipients should also be able to get these $1,200 checks. It’s going to be deposited just like they receive the Social Security benefits whether the receive Social Security retirement, Social Security Disability, if they receive Railroad Retirement or if they receive Supplemental Security Income.”

WAVE 3 News: "What if I owe taxes or I am behind on my student loan? Will it affect my stimulus check?"

WAVE 3 News: “You will still get these checks. They will only be offset if you owe child support. If you owe back student loans or back taxes these will not be offset for that.”

Maraman urged everyone to keep checking their bank accounts or their mailboxes. He also reminded WAVE 3 News of the many scams people may face while getting financial help.

“Watch out for scammers,” he said. “If it sounds too good to be true, it may be. So just be careful, especially if it is somebody calling you.”

Copyright 2020 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.