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COVID-19 solutions Economic Impact Payment

Economic Impact Payments (EIP)—also known as stimulus payments—are coming to provide relief for you and help for our economy.

What you should know about Economic Impact Payments

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Economic Impact Payments (EIP) eligibility requirements can be found on the IRS websiteopens in a new tab .

The IRS is responsible for determining eligibility. Your payment amount depends on your income, and how you’ve filed your federal taxes in the past, and dependents you have under the age of 17.

  1. In general, you’ll receive the full $1,200 payment if you filed as single—or married but filing separately—and your adjusted gross annual income is $75,000 or less. You’ll also receive an extra $500 for each child under 17 you claim as a dependent on your federal tax return. If you make more than $75,000 annually, your payment will be reduced by $5 for every $100 you make in adjusted gross income above $75,000.
  2. If you’re the head of household and make below $112,500 in adjusted gross income annually, you’ll receive the full $1,200 payment. The same $500 bonus per dependent child under 17 applies to you. If your adjusted gross annual income is between $112,500 and $136,500, you’ll have the same $5 deduction per $100 as stated above.
  3. If you’re married and filed jointly, and make less than $150,000 in annual adjusted gross income, you’ll receive the full $2,400 payment. The same $500 bonus per dependent child applies to you. If your adjusted gross income is above $150,000 a year, you’ll have the same $5 deduction per $100 as stated above.

For more details on how much your economic payment will be, please visit the IRS websiteopens in a new tab .

For people who have filed their 2019 tax return and provided a bank account and routing number to the IRS, the IRS will automatically send the EIP to those who are eligible.

For those who have not yet filed their 2019 return, the IRS will use the information from your 2018 tax return to automatically send the EIP to those who are eligible.

Non-filers will receive their funds either by check or through direct deposit (if they have provided the IRS with their bank account information). 

The IRS has already begun issuing payments by direct deposit and will continue to do so through April 29. Checks will be mailed beginning in late April. Most people don’t need to do anything to receive their payment.

The IRS has opened a new portal "Get My Payment" application to:

  • Check your payment status
  • Confirm your payment type: direct deposit or check
  • Enter your bank account information for direct deposit if the IRS doesn’t have your current direct deposit information

Visit the Get My Paymentopens in a new tab portal  on the IRS website.

Please note: The Get My Payment portal is a separate portal from the one opened for non-filers who want to include their bank information to receive funds via direct deposit.

Please visit the IRS websiteopens in a new tab for information on non-filers.

Your money will either be direct deposited into the same account linked with your latest tax return, or sent by paper check to your home address. If the IRS attempts to direct deposit into your account but can’t, they’ll send you a paper check. This may happen if you’ve closed the bank account your last tax refund was deposited into.

The IRS will send a letter to your home address around 15 days after you should’ve received your payment. This letter will provide next steps if you had any issues, including if you didn’t receive your payment at all. 

Your previous year’s tax returns are used to determine how much your payment will be, according to the income parameters above. If you’ve already filed a tax return this year, then you’re good to go. If you haven’t, you can either file as soon as possible, or the IRS will use your 2018 tax return to determine your payment instead. It’s good to note that the IRS has extended the tax filing deadline to July 15th

The IRS has opened a second new portal "Get My Payment" application to:

  • Check your payment status
  • Confirm your payment type: direct deposit or check
  • Enter your bank account information for direct deposit if the IRS doesn’t have your current direct deposit information

Visit the Get My Paymentopens in a new tab portal  on the IRS website.

Please note: The Get My Payment portal is a separate portal from the one opened for non-filers who want to include their bank information to receive funds via direct deposit.

Direct deposits for economic impact payments from the IRS will appear on your account as "IRS TREAS 310 TAX REF" for the amount of your payment.

Note that this is the exact description the IRS uses for tax refunds, and it could be confusing if you receive your economic impact payment and tax refund in the same account. In that case, pay attention to the transaction amount. It should help you know which deposit is your economic impact payment.

Beware of stimulus fraud

Knowing what fraudsters are up to during stimulus season can help you stay safe.

  • Remember that BB&T and SunTrust, now Truist will never use phone calls, text messages, or emails to solicit your confidential information.
  • Beware of suspicious checks in the mail. The IRS warns that scammers may send fake checks, which could be for an odd amount. In this case, you may be asked to verify information or call a phone number to cash the check. But neither the IRS nor any bank would ever ask you to do this.
  • If you receive a suspicious email, you can forward it to BB&T or SunTrust, now Truist at InternetFraud@BBandT.com or emailabuse@suntrust.com.

Put your stimulus money to work

COVID-19 is impacting everyone differently. If this is a difficult time for you financially, you may be thinking about using stimulus money for relief. Or maybe you haven’t been as impacted financially and can use stimulus money in other ways. Here are some ideas that can lift you and our economy.

Take care of immediate needs

Stimulus money may help relieve financial burdens caused by the pandemic. It’s important to take care of one’s immediate needs in this time. If you’re able to boost other areas of your financial life with stimulus money, here are a few ideas.

Pay down debt

If you’re looking to pay down loan or credit balances, focus on meeting the minimum amount due on those with the highest interest rates first. Maintaining creditworthiness now can help you down the road. You could also pay down accounts with smaller balances. Fewer financial obligations can increase your mental well-being.

Build your emergency fund

It’s good to prepare for the unexpected. Having an emergency fund is your first line of defense against future uncertainty, like a job loss. Having between 3 and 6 months' worth of living set aside is recommended, but that might be difficult right now. If you can at least start a fund, or put money into it, look into a high-yield savings account. Building a fund now can be the encouragement you need to keep growing your safety net while earning interest.

Work toward a financial goal

If you're able, stimulus money could help you meet a financial goal. Have you wanted to save more for retirement? You could use your stimulus money open a retirement account. Or if you've wanted to fund a child's education, look into a 529 savings plan*. Contributing to your future—or someone else's—could be really rewarding.

Stimulus payments are provided to help you and help the economy. Some people receiving payments are willing and able to use a portion of their payment to help those around them. Here are some ideas to help our neighbors and contribute to our communities.

Donate to charities

Consider supporting a meal program or food bank in your community. Programs like Meals on Wheels have programs across the county that offer delivery services to our most vulnerable citizens.

This crisis has also created demand for personal protective equipment (PPE). Consider supporting dedicated organizations like Direct Relief, who are delivering PPE directly to caregivers who need it most.

Support local businesses

Consider buying a gift card from your favorite local businesses—some are available online. If they provide a digital shopping presence, do your regular business there instead. And when you order takeout, tip a little more than you would normally. It’s a great way to say thanks for taking on the extra risk.

Donate to people whose work has been affected

Your favorite servers and bartenders are among millions with limited options, so crowdfunding sites like GoFundMe have been popular for local giving campaigns. Additionally, artists and entertainers have felt the impact through canceled tours and venue closings. Consider tuning in to artists’ livestreams and tipping them through their preferred person-to-person payment app.

Help your neighbor

If you have an elderly neighbor, consider purchasing and dropping off a care package—taking the proper safety precautions, of course. Know a family in your community whose livelihoods have been deeply affected by shelter-in-place restrictions? Ask how you can help. Sometimes just paying someone’s utility bill is worth so much more than the financial gesture itself.

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Disclosures

*Before investing, investors should consider whether their home state or their designated beneficiary’s home state offers any state tax or any other benefits such as financial aid, scholarship funds, and protection from creditors that are only available to residents of that state. Any state tax benefits associated with a 529 plan apply only to residents of the state sponsoring the plan. 529 plans value will fluctuate so that an investor’s shares, when redeemed may be worth more or less than their original cost.

Comments regarding tax implications are informational only. Truist and its representatives do not provide tax or legal advice. You should consult your individual tax or legal professional before taking any action that may have tax or legal consequences.

Investors should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses of the plan carefully before investing. An official statement, which contains this and other important information, can be obtained from your financial professional. Please read carefully prior to investing.

Withdrawals may be subject to state income taxes depending on the participant’s state of residence. Non-qualified withdrawals are subject to a 10% penalty. 

Participation in a 529 plan does not guarantee that contributions and the investment return, if any, will be adequate to cover future tuition and other higher education expenses or that a beneficiary will be admitted to or permitted to continue to attend and institution of higher education.

529 plans are offered by SunTrust Investment Services, Inc.

Neither Truist Financial Corporation, nor any of its affiliates underwrite 529 plans.