Terry’s Columns Monday, April 27th Update

Monday, April 27th Update

By Terry Savage on April 27, 2020


The first round of payments went primarily to taxpayers who had included direct deposit information on their 2019 (or 2018) returns. Yet, quite a few of you received paper checks in the mail.

Now the IRS is making a second large sweep in coming days, which is expected to send benefits to the direct deposit recipients of Social Security retirement income and disability income, as well as SSI benefits.

Then what? In the weeks following the “easy” direct deposit payments, the IRS will reconcile Social Security numbers for remaining potential recipients, including those who filed 2019 returns later in the season, who filed paper returns that require a paper check, sending paper checks in the mail to those whose direct deposit checks were rejected because the bank account was closed, etc.

And, then, there will be the issue of dealing with “incorrect” or missing payments. It will take a while to set up some kind of appeals procedure, but there definitely — by law — will be a letter mailed within two weeks of the stimulus payment to all who receive these payments. That may give you a hint of how to contact the IRS for an appeal.

The www.IRS.gov/coronavirus website has been updated in the past few days to make it less confusing and more accurate. But you may still find strange answers there if you try to find out when you will receive your payments. I’m encouraged that they’re focusing on this website, and hope it will find further use in coming months for people to contest their stimulus payments. We will have to wait and see about that.

And from your questions, I’m well aware that for some people this “waiting” is not only painful emotionally but so important financially. You’re not alone. Personal financial panic will not gain you anything.

Every credit card company knows you can’t pay your bills — and may not be able to do so until the summer, at the earliest. (It’s the subject of a front page Wall Street Journal story today.) So contact your card company, and don’t be pressured into making any payments you can’t afford. And don’t worry about your credit score!

As far as rent and mortgage payments, there will not be evictions or foreclosures for a long, long time. That is not what any politician wants to see in an election year! I have no idea how the issue of back rent and mortgages will be resolved, but I am quite sure they will come up with something creative.

So my best financial advice to you is to try to keep your emotions under control when it comes to money issues. Focus on health, staying safe and the things you can control. There is no way the politicians will let the middle class topple into poverty and homelessness in America today. And that’s The Savage Truth.

PS If you are thinking about your investments, read the column below posted on Monday, April 27, for both the bullish and bearish arguments.


Click Here to Register Dependents for $500 Check

Late Monday the government announced another ugly policy. They had finally announced SSI recipients would automatically get their stimulus in the same way they get their monthly benefits. BUT with less than 48 hours notice, they decided that any non-filer (including VA, Railroad Retirement and even Social Security recipients caring for dependent grandchildren!) MUST REGISTER QUALIFYING DEPENDENTS by Noon, Eastern time on Wednesday, April 22nd!
The goal is to get all the payment sent out at one time — when your own stimulus payment arrives. BUT the people who fall in this category are least able to get on line and file quickly —

SO we need to pass the word to any non-filer hoping to get a $500 stimulus child for a dependent that they must register now, here: Please help make this post go viral!

BIG NEWS! — SSI Recipients will get stimulus checks on their benefits cards — No Registration Necessary.
The Treasury announced this change at 3 pm on Wednesday, April 15th. Instead of being required to complete a separate registration form, SSI recipients can expect to see their stimulus payments come directly to their cards or accounts in EARLY MAY!
(If they have dependents under age 17, must still register dependent here.)

Click here for direct link to Get My Payment tool.
Use this site to track your stimulus payment — amount and where it will be received.
Here’s what the IRS says you can do at its site using the “Get My Payment” tool:

Check your payment status
Confirm your payment type: direct deposit or check
Enter your bank account information for direct deposit if we don’t have your direct deposit information and we haven’t sent your payment yet.

Update your bank account or mailing address
• If we don’t have your direct deposit information from 2018 or 2019 return – and we haven’t yet sent your payment – use the Get My Payment application to let us know where to send your direct deposit.
• 2019 Filers: We will send your payment using the information you provided with your 2019 tax return. You will not be able to change it.
• 2018 Filers: If you need to change your account information or mailing address, file your 2019 taxes electronically as soon as possible. That is the only way to let us know your new information.

Note: The IRS adds on its site that it is “not currently processing paper returns”. So that gives you a chance to file 2019 electronically, at TurboTax.com, and give your latest information, including banking information.


The BIG issue is whether the government will issue stimulus payments on CARDS, which many of you use to either receive refunds, or benefits such as SSI. I just heard from the IRS spokesperson, and here is what he said — and then please read on for what it means to you.

“Very sorry, Terry. I have no further updates yet. Our people are very aware of the issues and are actively working on them. I will absolutely let you know as soon as I know anything.”

Here is the issue. There are three separate programs involved here — and all face the same issue: THE GOVERNMENT HAS NOT FIGURED OUT POLICY FOR THE “UN-BANKED” PEOPLE WHO USE PAYMENT CARDS, DEBIT CARDS etc to receive government benefits and refunds. That includes Emerald Cards, DirectExpress, Netspend, GreenDot, TurboTax and many more!

Three groups are separately involved in this question — about getting stimulus on a card:
1. Tax Filers — A new portal will soon open (check back for a link later this week) that allows tax filers to input their direct deposit banking information if it was not on their original return. BUT, it does NOT solve the problem for those who received refunds on cards.
(They did tell me that if a refund was direct-deposited to a tax preparer’s account, that’s where the stimulus payment would go, unless you update your direct deposit info when that site becomes available on Friday this week.)

2. Social Security Retirement and Disability — Most of you receive your monthly benefits by direct deposit, although many of you do receive your monthly benefits on a card. I have not been able to reach anyone in authority at Social Security to confirm that you will get your stimulus on your payment card. But everything I have read tells me that you should just wait to get your stimulus benefits on your card if you receive monthly benefits that way. You do not have to register — even if you don’t file a tax return.

3. SSI Recipients: These are the most desperate and needy among us, waiting for their stimulus benefits. Because of a technicality in the law, IF YOU ARE ON SSI, YOU MUST REGISTER HERE

You must register yourself, and any dependent children. If you receive VA disability you can also register here. And if you’re unsure, register at that link anyway. It can’t hurt!

BUT, the government knows you get your SSI on a payment card. You may be asked at registration for an address, and/or info about your card number.

It only makes sense that you would receive them on your payment card. I promise I will post again whenever I hear the specifics. I have written to media contacts for Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the Treasury Secretary, the IRS and others requesting clarification.
Please be patient and don’t swamp me with emails, though I am trying to answer them all. Believe me, I won’t stop working on your behalf. Terry

Posting on Friday, April 10
The Federal Registration Site is now open for SSI recipients and others who will not automatically get a stimulus check.



Taxpayers who filed in 2019 or 2018 do NOT have to register. Your check will come automatically to a direct deposit refund account OR in the mail if no direct deposit info is on file.

The IRS has NOT yet announced whether they will deposit stimulus checks onto various payment cards including Emerald, TurboTax, NetSpend, and others.

Social Security Retirement Income and Disability beneficiaries do NOT have to register — even though they may not have filed a tax return. Your stimulus payment will come automatically by direct deposit or a check in the mail.

Here are some key facts you should know about your eligibility for a stimulus check and how to make the process go smoothly:

The Care Act passed on March 27th, the headlines promising, among other programs, that $1200 stimulus checks ($2,400 married filing jointly) would be given to people who fell below the $75,000 in adjusted gross income on a single return or $150,000 on a joint return, plus $500 for each dependent under 17. Above those income levels, the check is smaller and phases out completely for individual incomes over $99,000.

Here are the basics and tips you should know to get your stimulus check:

Stimulus Payment for Tax Filers: If you haven’t filed your 2019 return (it isn’t due til July 15th) the stimulus check will go to the direct deposit account or mailing address listed on your 2018 return. But, if you can, you should file your 2019 return now so the IRS has your latest adjusted gross income, direct deposit information (if getting a refund), and mailing address which the IRS will use to issue your stimulus check.

Q. If I filed my return and didn’t get a refund, can I still get direct deposit of stimulus check?
Ans. No. Your check will come in the mail to the address on your most recent filing.

Q. What if my bank account info has changed from my last tax refund?
Ans. If your account info changed and the account is closed, you will receive a paper check in the mail.

Q. What if my refund went on my Emerald Card, TurboTax card, or other payment card?
Ans. The IRS has not given guidance on how those situations across the industry will be handled. Hopefully there will be more information soon.

Q. My tax refund went to my tax preparer, who sent it on to me. Where will my stimulus check go?
Ans. Your tax refund will go to the authorized direct deposit account in your latest filed tax return either 2018 or 2019. If no direct deposit account was indicated on your latest tax return filed, a paper check will be sent to the most recent address on your tax return.

Q. What if I declared my 19 year old son as a dependent? Will I get $500?
Ans. Consider amending your return, removing your adult children as dependents, and letting them file their own return (or register below if they have no income) to let them get a $1200 check! Anyone over 17 listed as a dependent on another return cannot receive a stimulus check.

Stimulus for Social Security Recipients Who Don’t File Tax Returns: If you receive Social Security RETIREMENT or DISABILITY income, you don’t have to do anything – even if you don’t file a tax return. Your stimulus check will be based on information on your form SSA-1099 or RRB -1099 and will be deposited to you in the same way as your monthly Social Security Benefit.

Stimulus for SSI Benefit Recipients Who Don’t File Taxes (and others who don’t file tax returns) : Your SSI is not reported on Form SSA-1099 or RRB-1099 so the IRS and Treasury would not have your information from those forms as they do with Social Security income from retirement or disability. You should file your information at the link for the Government filing portal at the top of this page.

Stimulus for Dependents: Stimulus checks of $500 for children UNDER AGE 17, go to the parent who claimed the child as a dependent on their tax return, or who registers the child as a dependent if not required to file. BUT, you don’t get ANY benefit for children over 17 or for adult parents you may claim as a dependent. Consider amending your 2019 return, not claiming your adult child, allowing your college student to file independently (or register at TurboTax) to qualify for the $1200 check.

Stimulus for those Owing Child Support: If you owe any back child support, and your state has communicated that to the Federal government, you will not receive stimulus check. Period.

Patience is Required There will be issues and delays in getting this massive distribution into the hands – and bank accounts – of the individuals who need it most. It could take a while. And that’s The Savage Truth.