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Watch out for scams related to Economic Impact Payments

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Entertainment Licensing

Beware of scams related to COVID-19 and the federal economic impact payments.

The IRS started sending most economic impact payments automatically to eligible U.S citizens and permanent residents on April 9, 2020. The payments are worth up to the following:

$1,200 for individuals

Eligible individuals with adjusted gross income up to $75,000 will automatically receive the full $1,200 payment.

$2,400 for married couples

Eligible married couples filing a joint return with adjusted gross income up to $150,000 will automatically receive the full $2,400.

$500 per child

Parents also get $500 for each eligible child under 17.

Eligible individuals include:

  • taxpayers who filed a federal tax return for 2018 or 2019
  • retirees who receive social security or other retirement benefits
  • non-filers who made no income or less than $12,200, and
  • beneficiaries who receive public benefits such as disability, SSDI, or veterans' benefits.

The IRS will use the same payment method used for the federal tax returns in previous years:

  • If you filed your 2018 or 2019 tax return and opted for direct deposit for your tax refund, the IRS will send you the stimulus payment via direct deposit as well.
  • Eligible individuals who received a paper check for tax returns in prior years or did not submit direct deposit information to the IRS website will begin receiving the economic impact paper checks starting Friday, April 24, 2020.

Non-filers who did not file, or were not required to file a federal tax return in 2018 or 2019, may enter their payment info online on the IRS website to receive the stimulus checks. If you are a non-filer but receive benefits, such as social security retirement, supplemental security income, survivor benefits, and railroad retirement benefits, the IRS already has your information and you will not need to enter your payment information.

Avoid Coronavirus scams

  • The IRS will not contact you by phone, text message, or email to ask you to verify or provide your personal information so you can receive your economic impact payment. These impersonators are phishing for your personal information which could lead to identity theft and fraud.
  • The IRS official term is "economic impact payments" and not "stimulus check," "coronavirus payment," and "stimulus payment."
  • Scammers may send official-looking fake checks, possibly with an odd payment amount. They then tell the taxpayer to call a number to verify the amount and their personal information in order to cash it.
  • Be wary, if you received a paper check from the "IRS" before April 24, 2020. The IRS only started mailing them out on Friday, April 24, 2020.
  • The IRS will not ask you to pay them back if paid you more than what is owed to you. They are unlikely to overpay you.
  • Never give out your personal information. If the IRS needs your payment information, you may enter it through the  IRS's online portal
  • You may check your economic impact payment status on the IRS website.

Report suspicious activity to the following agencies: