13 Apr

COVID-19 Individual stimulus payments

With the CARES Act passed and signed into law, the COVID-19 situation results in individual stimulus payments to US taxpayers.

Specifically, a new tax code section exists. These stimulus payments are “refundable” tax credits being paid in advance of filing your 2020 return. They do not have to be “paid back.”

Here is the specific language in Internal Revenue Code section 6428 related to teh COVID-19 Individual stimulus payments:

Code Sec. 6428. 2020 recovery rebates for individuals

(a) In general

In the case of an eligible individual, there shall be allowed as a credit against the tax imposed by subtitle A for the first taxable year beginning in 2020 an amount equal to the sum of –

(1) $1,200 ($2,400 in the case of eligible individuals filing a joint return), plus

(2) an amount equal to the product of $500 multiplied by the number of qualifying children (within the meaning of section 24(c)) of the taxpayer.

(b) Treatment of credit

The credit allowed by subsection (a) shall be treated as allowed by subpart C of part IV of subchapter A of chapter 1.

(c) Limitation based on adjusted gross income

The amount of the credit allowed by subsection (a) (determined without regard to this subsection and subsection (e)) shall be reduced (but not below zero) by 5 percent of so much of the taxpayers adjusted gross income as exceeds –

(1) $150,000 in the case of a joint return,

(2) $112,500 in the case of a head of household, and

(3) $75,000 in the case of a taxpayer not described in paragraph (1) or (2).

(d) Eligible individual

For purposes of this section, the term “eligible individual” means any individual other than –

(1) any nonresident alien individual,

(2) any individual with respect to whom a deduction under section 151 is allowable to another taxpayer for a taxable year beginning in the calendar year in which the individuals taxable year begins, and

(3) an estate or trust.

(e) Coordination with advance refunds of credit

(1) In general

The amount of credit which would (but for this paragraph) be allowable under this section shall be reduced (but not below zero) by the aggregate refunds and credits made or allowed to the taxpayer under subsection (f). Any failure to so reduce the credit shall be treated as arising out of a mathematical or clerical error and assessed according to section 6213(b)(1).

(2) Joint returns

In the case of a refund or credit made or allowed under subsection (f) with respect to a joint return, half of such refund or credit shall be treated as having been made or allowed to each individual filing such return.

(f) Advance refunds and credits

(1) In general

Subject to paragraph (5), each individual who was an eligible individual for such individuals first taxable year beginning in 2019 shall be treated as having made a payment against the tax imposed by chapter 1 for such taxable year in an amount equal to the advance refund amount for such taxable year.

(2) Advance refund amount

For purposes of paragraph (1), the advance refund amount is the amount that would have been allowed as a credit under this section for such taxable year if this section (other than subsection (e) and this subsection) had applied to such taxable year.

(3) Timing and manner of payments

(A) Timing. The Secretary shall, subject to the provisions of this title, refund or credit any overpayment attributable to this section as rapidly as possible. No refund or credit shall be made or allowed under this subsection after December 31, 2020.

(B) Delivery of payments. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary may certify and disburse refunds payable under this subsection electronically to any account to which the payee authorized, on or after January 1, 2018, the delivery of a refund of taxes under this title or of a Federal payment (as defined in section 3332 of title 31, United States Code).

(C) Waiver of certain rules. Notwithstanding section 3325 of title 31, United States Code, or any other provision of law, with respect to any payment of a refund under this subsection, a disbursing official in the executive branch of the United States Government may modify payment information received from an officer or employee described in section 3325(a)(1)(B) of such title for the purpose of facilitating the accurate and efficient delivery of such payment. Except in cases of fraud or reckless neglect, no liability under sections 3325, 3527, 3528, or 3529 of title 31, United States Code, shall be imposed with respect to payments made under this subparagraph.

(4) No interest

No interest shall be allowed on any overpayment attributable to this section.

(5) Alternate taxable year

In the case of an individual who, at the time of any determination made pursuant to paragraph (3), has not filed a tax return for the year described in paragraph (1), the Secretary may –

(A) apply such paragraph by substituting 2018 for

2019, and

(B) if the individual has not filed a tax return for such individuals first taxable year beginning in 2018, use information with respect to such individual for calendar year 2019 provided in –

(i) Form SSA-1099, Social Security Benefit Statement, or

(ii) Form RRB-1099, Social Security Equivalent Benefit Statement.

(6) Notice to taxpayer

Not later than 15 days after the date on which the Secretary distributed any payment to an eligible taxpayer pursuant to this subsection, notice shall be sent by mail to such taxpayers last known address. Such notice shall indicate the method by which such payment was made, the amount of such payment, and a phone number for the appropriate point of contact at the Internal Revenue Service to report any failure to receive such payment.

(g) Identification number requirement

(1) In general

No credit shall be allowed under subsection (a) to an eligible individual who does not include on the return of tax for the taxable year –

(A) such individuals valid identification number,

(B) in the case of a joint return, the valid identification number of such individuals spouse, and

(C) in the case of any qualifying child taken into account under subsection (a)(2), the valid identification number of such qualifying child.

(2) Valid identification number

(A) In general

For purposes of paragraph (1), the term “valid identification number” means a social security number (as such term is defined in section 24(h)(7)).

(B) Adoption taxpayer identification number

For purposes of paragraph (1)(C), in the case of a qualifying child who is adopted or placed for adoption, the term “valid identification number” shall include the adoption taxpayer identification number of such child.

(3) Special rule for members of the armed forces

Paragraph (1)(B) shall not apply in the case where at least 1 spouse was a member of the Armed Forces of the United States at any time during the taxable year and at least 1 spouse satisfies paragraph (1)(A).

(4) Mathematical or clerical error authority

Any omission of a correct valid identification number required under this subsection shall be treated as a mathematical or clerical error for purposes of applying section 6213(g)(2) to such omission.

(h) Regulations

The Secretary shall prescribe such regulations or other guidance as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this section, including any such measures as are deemed appropriate to avoid allowing multiple credits or rebates to a taxpayer.