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How much money should I have received?
A normal person who is making under $75,000 will receive a check for $1,200. Married couples filing jointly will receive $2,400 if they make less than $150,000. You will also earn $500 for every child under 18 who you declare as a dependent. The amount owed will start to decrease after you cross the above income threshold.
Is my CARES Act payment impacted if I receive by unemployment?
No. If you filed for unemployment, you will still receive your payment. Payments are made based on the previous year's tax filings and unrelated to any unemployment compensation or pandemic unemployment assistance that you receive.
Will I have to pay back my CARES Act payment?
No. This is not a loan, and unlike some of the stimulus payments that occurred during the Great Recession, the money will never have to be paid back to the federal government. This is yours to keep and use as you please.
Is my CARES Act payment an advance on my tax refund for next year?
No. There seems to be some confusion about this based on the legislative language of the CARES Act. However, the payment will not come out of your refund next year, nor will you have to pay it back on your taxes at any point. And there's more good news on that front: Your money is not taxable. You will not have to pay any federal taxes on it at any point.
Can my money be garnished by debt collectors?
This one appears to be a little more complicated. There's good news and bad news. First, the good news: The stimulus money cannot be garnished by the IRS, even if you owe them taxes. However, it does seem as if debt collectors can take your stimulus money. This, of course, presents a problem: The stimulus money was meant to be a financial backstop to the most financially vulnerable Americans, and many of these Americans already owe significant amounts to debt collectors or credit agencies. Some state and local governments have issued orders to prevent the debt from being collected, but these laws obviously vary from place to place. As such, it's best to consult with local or state authorities to determine what a debt collector can potentially do when it comes to your stimulus check.
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