If yournever arrived, you might be getting ready to for yourself or your on your starting . But while the bill governing the second check largely protected your money from being garnished to pay debts, a new change could mean that the government may be able to use the catch-up payment in your to cover those debts after all -- so your payment wouldn't be protected the same way it would have been if your check had arrived as planned through the , or .
Other questions may also be lingering:on your first or second stimulus check this year? Could states, banks, creditors or your landlord take your money to cover a debt? Could your second check or your tax refund credit be garnished to pay ? What happens if the ?
We've got all of the information you need, whether your check already arrived or if you need to claim it on your 2020 tax return as a. Plus, here's what we know so far about a potential in the , which could be and , too. If you don't receive your check, you may need to , and potentially . This story was updated recently.
Your second check can't be taken to pay overdue child support. But your tax return and Recovery Rebate Credit could be
Under the cover past-due child support. That rule changed with the second stimulus check, which couldn't be taken if you owe money for child support -- a shift that's been widely understood across federal and state agencies.from March 2020, your first stimulus check could be seized by state and federal agencies to
However, these rules have not necessarily extended to the situation of filing for missing stimulus check money on your 2020 tax return. For certain outstanding debts -- including past-due child support and unpaid student loans -- the IRS can withhold some or all of your unpaid stimulus payment issued as a when you file your taxes. An independent taxpayer advocacy group within the IRS is working with the agency to address this issue.
Here's everything to know about. It isn't yet clear if garnishment rules would further change for a .
Banks and creditors could take your second stimulus check in this situation
With the first stimulus check, private banks and creditors were able to seize your payment to cover an outstanding debt. However, some states, such as California, issued orders forbidding banks and creditors from garnishing your stimulus check. With the second stimulus check, your payment is protected from bank garnishment and from private creditors and debt collectors, according to the text of the law.
However, there's one major caveat here. Individual banks can decide whether they want to use your stimulus a New York Times report. This is because, for most people, their stimulus check is deposited into the same bank account where they also .to cover overdraft fees, according to
Though large US banks including Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo said they would temporarily zero out their customers' negative balances so that they can access their stimulus money, some regional and community banks are garnishing that money to pay overdraft fees, or are considering customer requests on a case-by-case basis, according to the Times. If this has happened to you, you can try contacting your bank to ask for a temporary overdraft waiver, but it may not be granted.
What about your tax return and claimed stimulus money? Federal law allows only state and federal government agencies to take your refund as payment toward a debt, not individual or private creditors. But again, this changes once you deposit your refund into your bank account, when private creditors may have access to those funds, depending on your state.
Your stimulus checks will not get taxed, but there is one exception
The IRS doesn't consider stimulus payments to be, which means you . That also means a direct payment you get this year won't reduce your tax refund in 2021 or increase the amount you owe when you . You also won't have to repay part of your stimulus check if you qualify for a lower amount in 2021. If you didn't receive everything you were owed this year, you can claim your full when you file this month (more on that below).
However, another big caveat here: If you are filing for any missing stimulus money as a Recovery Rebate Credit on your tax return this year, the IRS can potentially garnish that money to pay for any back taxes you owe. Once again, an independent taxpayer advocacy group within the IRS is working with the agency to address this issue to protect those funds for vulnerable taxpayers.
You don't need to file taxes to qualify for a stimulus check, but...
Though, you don't need to have filed a tax return to qualify for a check. If you're , for example, and receive , you could for a first, second and potential . But in some cases, you would have needed to take an extra step, and you will now if you're still waiting on your full payment. If you didn't receive some or all of the money you were entitled to, people in this group, termed .
Landlords and nursing homes can't make you use your stimulus money to pay them
The according to the IRS.prevented landlords from demanding you give them your stimulus check to make a rent payment. Nursing homes and care facilities also cannot ask you to hand over your stimulus check money to meet a payment,
The second stimulus check follows the same rules. If someone pressures you or threatens you with eviction in exchange for your payment, make sure you know your rights in regards to stimulus checks and to thethat lasts through March 31. The from December includes rental assistance for states and cities.
Your stimulus check can't be taken to pay a late car payment
Likewise, people who are worried about car repossession if they can't make a payment are in most cases not obligated to hand over stimulus money, unless it falls into an exception below. Here's what we know about.
If your first or second stimulus check never arrived, you can apply for a rebate on your taxes
If you were eligible for a first or second stimulus check but still haven't received a, or from the IRS, you may have mistakenly been overlooked, or you may . Certain groups who were eligible for that first payment, such as some , , and those who are , can .
, you'll have to submit a 2020 tax return (the deadline for which is ) using a 2020 Form 1040 or 1040SR to claim your money. This credit would either increase the amount of your tax refund or lower the amount of the tax you need to pay by the amount of stimulus money you're still owed.
Again, just be aware that if you do file for a Recovery Rebate Credit and owe any back taxes, the IRS may garnish that money to pay those debts.
If youeither your first or second payment, but never actually got the money, you can try .
Incarcerated people can also claim their stimulus check
Though there was a lot of confusion about this at first, federal judge in California required the IRS to contact those incarcerated who can file a claim for a stimulus check. As with others who are missing a payment, you'll need to fill out 2020 Form 1040 or 1040-SR to claim either the first or second check.of up to $1,200 per adult. A ruling this fall from a
Can the IRS make you return your stimulus payment?
a payment you get this year won't reduce your tax refund in 2021 or increase the amount you owe when you file your 2020 tax return. You also won't have to repay a stimulus payment if you qualify for a lower amount in 2021. (Here's how .)
However, if the IRS thinks it mistakenly sent you, or if you received money in your check for someone who's died, the agency .