COVID-19 Relief Checks

How will the delivery of the COVID-19 relief checks work?
I've seen a number of articles suggesting that the government will direct
deposit the checks into taxpayer accounts directly, but how can they do
that? They don't have any way of knowing everyone's current account
information. At best, they would know the checking account numbers for
retirees who currently have their social security checks direct deposited,
and they would also have recent information on the accounts people used who
filed electronically on their 2019 return. But not everyone files
electronically and many people send their payments and receive their refunds
through paper checks.
Also, the articles I've seen suggest that the payments will be based on 2018
returns, and even for those taxpayers who filed electronically for that
year, how can the government know or presume those accounts would still be
the right ones to use? Case in point. I mentioned in another post some of
the tax issues my daughter experienced as a result of going through a
divorce in late 2019. If the awards are to be based on her 2018 return, my
daughter filed that return electronically with her ex-husband, and their
refund was applied to his checking account. She, of course, no longer uses
or has access to that account. if the government sends her COVID-19 check
to that account, she will literally never see it or even know it got
deposited. How will they assure that checks are direct deposited into the
right accounts?
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In article <r5efcg$1v4h$>, "Rick" wrote:
I think it's a bit early to be able to answer these questions. These are the kinds of things that they figure out during the implementation phase, not when writing the policy bill.
There will obviously have to be provisions for all the issues you mention.
Reply to
Barry Margolin
Questions about how a bill will work that hasn't been finalized, hasn't been passed by either house of Congress, hasn't been signed into law, and hasn't had implementation procedures finalized are highly speculative.
Given that qualifier, some of today's news articles indicate that the current proposal will use 2019 income to determine the payment amount (and presumably the address to mail the check or the bank account to make the deposit) if the 2019 return has been filed. If the 2018 return is the latest available, that information will be used. For taxpayers where the amount of the Covid-19 payment ends up incorrect (either too much or too little) this will get settled when they file tax returns for 2020.
In the situation you describe, the only practical action I can see that may be useful is to suggest your daughter efile her 2019 return very soon if she hasn't already filed.
Reply to
She did efile her return two weeks ago, so they theoretically should have updated info for her. Also, she filed as HOH with her son as dependent, so she should also get the $500 child payment. But her ex-husband likely hasn't filed yet (based on his past practice), so the most recent return he filed was jointly with her (and their son as dependent) in 2018. Not sure how they would determine his eligibility since his last return was a joint return with a person who this year filed as HOH. As always, the devil will be in the details.
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