iStock / Getty Images
En español | You may be wondering when your economic stimulus payment from Uncle Sam will arrive. For many people the answer is soon. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has started what will likely turn out to be a weekslong process of disbursing payments to millions of Americans. You can get an estimate of the amount of your payment by using AARP's Coronavirus Stimulus Payment Calculator. The maximum for an individual is $1,200; married couples will receive up to $2,400. There's also an extra $500 for each qualifying child younger than 17.
But for others, the answer to when their economic stimulus check will arrive is never. Some individuals simply don't qualify for a payment. Are you one of those who will never see a penny from this round of federal relief? Find out.
Reasons you aren't eligible for a stimulus payment
Your income is too high. A big reason you won't qualify for a stimulus payment (or economic-impact payment, as the IRS calls it) is that you make too much money. You won't get a stimulus check if your adjusted gross income (AGI) is greater than:
- $99,000, if your filing status was single or married and filing separately
- $136,500 for head of household
- $198,000, if your filing status was married and filing jointly
Your AGI is based on what's reported on your 2019 federal tax return or, if you haven't filed yet, your 2018 return. If you were required to file a tax return in 2018 and 2019 but didn't, you'll need to file one to determine your eligibility. (If you are among those who typically aren't required to file tax returns due to income levels, check more detailed information on how you can claim your stimulus payment.)
Save 25% when you join AARP and enroll in Automatic Renewal for first year. Get instant access to discounts, programs, services, and the information you need to benefit every area of your life.
Someone else claims you as a dependent. You also won't get a stimulus check if you're claimed as a dependent on someone else's tax return. This category includes older people or adults with disabilities who are claimed as dependents by someone else. The same is true for some high school students (17 or older) and young adults, including college students who are claimed by their parents as dependents.
You don't have a Social Security number. You'll need a valid Social Security number to get a stimulus payment. No Social Security number, no payment.
You filed certain tax return forms. According to the IRS, you aren't eligible for a stimulus payment if you filed any of the following types of returns in 2019:
- Form 1040-NR, “U.S. Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return"
- Form 1040NR-EZ, “U.S. Income Tax Return for Certain Nonresident Aliens With No Dependents"
- Form 1040-SS, “U.S. Self-Employment Tax Return (Including the Additional Child Tax Credit for Bona Fide Residents of Puerto Rico)"
- Form 1040-PR, “Planilla para la Declaración de la Contribución Federal sobre el Trabajo por Cuenta Propia (Incluyendo el Crédito Tributario Adicional por Hijos para Residentes Bona Fide de Puerto Rico)”
The IRS also says you don't qualify if you're a nonresident alien. A nonresident alien is an alien — meaning someone who isn't a U.S. citizen or U.S. national — who hasn't passed the green card test or the substantial presence test. Nonresident aliens are required to file tax returns if they engage in business in the U.S. or if they have U.S. income on which the tax liability wasn't met by witholdings.
You are in jail. A payment made to someone who is incarcerated should be returned to the IRS by following the instructions about repayments. If you’re the spouse of someone in jail, you only have to return the your spouse’s portion – typically $1,200, unless your adjusted gross income was more than $150,000, in which case it will be decreased by $5 for every $100 over $150,000.
Because you’re dead. If you’ve received a check for a deceased person, the IRS says you have to send it back. Send the Treasury check – or your own, if you received the payment via direct deposit – to the IRS service center for your state.