April 16, 2020 

By Charlene Muhammad 

Contributing Writer 


Medical and legal experts and advocates outlined pathways to access public benefits during the global coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, during an online briefing for ethnic and community media.


It was the third in a series of 10 online briefings hosted by Ethnic Media Services for ethnic news media with the support of the Blue Shield of California Foundation.


A key aspect of the April 8 webinar entitled “Accessing Healthcare and Other Public Services During the Pandemic” addressed how to receive the $1,200 Economic Impact Payment.




People with an adjusted gross income of up to $75,000 for individuals and up to $150,000 for married couples filing joint returns will receive the full $1,200 payment and up to $500 for each qualifying child.


Know that no one from the IRS is going to call asking people to verify or provide their financial information in order to get their Economic Impact Payment, warned Sunita Lough, IRS Deputy Commissioner, Services & Enforcement. “Watch out for scams! There are scams and fraudsters out there right now,” she alerted.


The IRS urges people to not only watch for emails, but text messages, websites, and social media attempts that may request money or personal information.  “Please do not give your private information to anybody who says, ‘I can get the payment from the IRS for you.’ That’s really important to us,” said Lough.


The IRS plans to launch the “Get my payment” online application to track payments on April 17.  It’s similar to “Where’s my refund.” Lough encouraged individuals to enter direct deposit information to receive payments sooner.  Otherwise, paper checks will be issued, which will take longer, she added.


Most tax payers who filed for 2018 or 2019 do not have to take any action, so no need to call.  Payments will be directly deposited into bank accounts based on those filings.  And on that note:  The deadlines to FILE and PAY federal income taxes are extended to July 15, 2020.


On April 10, the Treasury Department and IRS launched a new non-filer tool to also help non-filers register for the payments.  The IRS will use this information to confirm eligibility and calculate and send an Economic Impact Payment, and using it will not result in any taxes being owed, according to the IRS.


It indicated in an April 10 update that payments will be automatically deposited into bank accounts of Social Security beneficiaries who are not typically required to file tax returns.  People who did not file a tax return for 2018 or 2019 should use the tool, as well as those who don’t receive Social Security retirement or disability benefits, or Railroad Retirement benefits, it continued.


The non-filers tool is also an option for those in lower income brackets, who haven’t filed taxes in 2018 or 2019 because they are under the normal income limits for filing, such as single filers who made under $12,200 and married couples making less than $24,400 in 2019.


More information on Economic Payments may be found at IRS.gov/coronavirus.

Category: Business