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Why Are Some Economic Impact Payments Different than Expected?

As people have been receiving their Economic Impact Payments, some have received different amounts from what they were expecting.

Eligible individuals receive a payment of $1,200, married persons filing a joint return receive $2,400, and eligible individuals receive an additional $500 for each qualifying child. The requirements for an eligible child can be found on the IRS website:

If you qualify for a payment, the payment is automatic if you filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return. They are also automatic for people who don’t file a return but receive:

• Social Security retirement, survivor or disability benefits.
• Railroad retirement benefits.
• Veterans affairs benefits.
• Supplemental security income.

Some common reasons why a payment may be different than anticipated include:

• The IRS is going off your 2018 return because your 2019 return hasn’t been filed or processed yet.
• Your child is not under the age of 17 so you do not receive the additional $500. The IRS determines a child’s age by how old they are at the end of the tax year for the return they are using. So if the IRS is using your 2018 return to determine your payment amount, your child’s age at 12/31/18 is what the IRS will use.
• Your payment was offset by past due child support.

The IRS has created a quick reference chart if you want to research your payment amount further:

Please consult your tax advisor on all the above issues.

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